Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 18 November-24 November 2015

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 November-24 November 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 November-24 November 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (18 November-24 November 2015)


Copahue

Chile-Argentina

37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


SERNAGEOMIN reported that at 1930 on 19 November tremor amplitude at Copahue began to oscillate. At 0305 on 20 November crater incandescence was coincident with small explosions that produced ash plumes. The Alert Level remained at Yellow; SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 1.5 km of the crater. ONEMI maintained Level Yellow for the community of Alto Biobío (40 km W) in the Biobío region (since 3 June 2013).

Based on webcam images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported continuous emissions of water vapor and gas with minor amounts of ash on 20 November; ash was not detected in satellite images.

Geologic Background. Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded at Copahue since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.

Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)