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Report on Villarrica (Chile) — 31 July-6 August 2013

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 July-6 August 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Villarrica (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 July-6 August 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (31 July-6 August 2013)


Villarrica

Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to Projecto Observación Visual Volcán Villarrica (POVI), satellite images of Villarrica acquired on 25 July revealed a weak thermal anomaly. On 29 July observers photographed the crater and described a thermal anomaly on the S edge of the crater rim, in the same area from which a lava flow originated on 29 December 1971. They also heard deep degassing sounds. A second photograph showed a diffuse gas plume rising from the bottom of the crater, and ash and lapilli on the snow on the inner crater walls.

Geologic Background. Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Source: Proyecto Observación Villarrica Internet (POVI)