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Report on Lascar (Chile) — October 1991


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 10 (October 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Lascar (Chile) Renewed explosive activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Lascar (Chile) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199110-355100



23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

At 1620-1625 on 21 October, an explosion and a roughly 2,000-m-high dark gray column were observed by Santos Soza, a Minsal Ltda. employee based 35 km NW of the volcano (in Toconao). Wind carried the plume NE, and completely dispersed it within 20 minutes. The explosion was not audible, but it was accompanied by a small shock, with a duration of a few seconds, felt at Toconao. A second, smaller eruption column was observed the following day at about 1400 without accompanying felt seismicity or an audible explosion.

Geological Summary. Láscar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks. An older, higher stratovolcano 5 km E, Volcán Aguas Calientes, displays a well-developed summit crater and a probable Holocene lava flow near its summit (de Silva and Francis, 1991). Láscar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The largest historical eruption took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows to 8.5 km NW of the summit and ashfall in Buenos Aires.

Information Contacts: J. Naranjo, SERNAGEOMIN, Santiago; V. Letelier, Minsal Ltda., Toconao.