Report on Puyehue-Cordon Caulle (Chile) — 7 December-13 December 2011
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 December-13 December 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Puyehue-Cordon Caulle (Chile) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 December-13 December 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
40.59°S, 72.117°W; summit elev. 2236 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on seismicity during 7-13 December, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, continued at a low level. Plumes observed with the web camera during 8-9 December rose 3.0-3.5 km above the crater and plumes were identified in satellite imagery drifting 90 km SE on 8 December and 250 km ENE on 9 December. Cloud cover prevented web camera and satellite observations during 10-13 December, but ashfall was reported to the E during 10-11 December. The Alert Level remained at Red.
Geological Summary. The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex (PCCVC) is a large NW-SE-trending late-Pleistocene to Holocene basaltic-to-rhyolitic transverse volcanic chain SE of Lago Ranco. The 1799-m-high Pleistocene Cordillera Nevada caldera lies at the NW end, separated from Puyehue stratovolcano at the SE end by the Cordón Caulle fissure complex. The Pleistocene Mencheca volcano with Holocene flank cones lies NE of Puyehue. The basaltic-to-rhyolitic Puyehue volcano is the most geochemically diverse of the PCCVC. The flat-topped, 2236-m-high volcano was constructed above a 5-km-wide caldera and is capped by a 2.4-km-wide Holocene summit caldera. Lava flows and domes of mostly rhyolitic composition are found on the E flank. Historical eruptions originally attributed to Puyehue, including major eruptions in 1921-22 and 1960, are now known to be from the Cordón Caulle rift zone. The Cordón Caulle geothermal area, occupying a 6 x 13 km wide volcano-tectonic depression, is the largest active geothermal area of the southern Andes volcanic zone.