Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 16 November-22 November 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 November-22 November 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 November-22 November 2016. 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 images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 16-18 and 21-22 November diffuse steam-and-ash plumes rose from Copahue to altitudes of 3.3-3.6 km (11,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, ENE, E, and WNW. On 17 November OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that activity continued to be dominated by weak Strombolian explosions likely from a pyroclastic cone forming on the floor of El Agrio crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow; SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 1.5 km of the crater.
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 since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.