Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 31 May-6 June 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 May-6 June 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 May-6 June 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that webcams recorded an increase in ash emissions at Copahue on 4 June. There were no significant changes in the magnitude or number of earthquakes recorded by the seismic network. The report noted that due to inclement weather making visual observations difficult, the observatory did not know if the ash emission began in the early hours of 4 June, or the day before. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (the second lowest on a four-color scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 1 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.