Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 16 December-22 December 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 December-22 December 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, 16 December-22 December 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on satellite and webcam views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 18-20 December steam and gas emissions with minor amounts of ash rose to altitudes of 3-3.6 km (10,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted N on 18 December and 55-150 km SSE and SE on 19 December. During 20-22 December the webcam recorded continuous ash emissions drifting short distances.
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.