Report on Llaima (Chile) — 3 March-9 March 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 March-9 March 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Llaima (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 March-9 March 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
38.692°S, 71.729°W; summit elev. 3125 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 4 March seismicity from Llaima increased. During an overflight that same day, scientists observed emissions of gas and steam from the main crater. Images taken that day were compared to those taken on 21 February and showed no significant changes in morphology. The rate of sulfur dioxide emissions had increased, however. Scientists also noted deposits from a large rockfall along with fracturing of the glacier, especially on the upper N and NW flanks. Those observations in addition to the increased seismicity prompted SERNAGEOMIN to raise the Alert Level to Yellow, Level 4.
Geologic Background. Llaima, one of Chile's largest and most active volcanoes, contains two main historically active craters, one at the summit and the other, Pichillaima, to the SE. The massive, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic, stratovolcano has a volume of 400 km3. A Holocene edifice built primarily of accumulated lava flows was constructed over an 8-km-wide caldera that formed about 13,200 years ago, following the eruption of the 24 km3 Curacautín Ignimbrite. More than 40 scoria cones dot the volcano's flanks. Following the end of an explosive stage about 7200 years ago, construction of the present edifice began, characterized by Strombolian, Hawaiian, and infrequent subplinian eruptions. Frequent moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows have been recorded since the 17th century.