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Report on Llaima (Chile) — December 1997


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 22, no. 12 (December 1997)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Llaima (Chile) Small phreatic explosions but otherwise stable during March-September 1997

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1997. Report on Llaima (Chile) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 22:12. Smithsonian Institution.



38.692°S, 71.729°W; summit elev. 3125 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Seismic and available visual observations indicated typical activity during March-September 1997. Seismic activity registered during August and September 1997 remained at about the same level as during March-July; the detected events were inferred to be associated with degassing and fluid movement in internal conduits. In some cases the seismic events corresponded with observed small phreatic explosions; however, during August and September clouds engulfed the volcano.

Geological Summary. Llaima, one of Chile's largest and most active volcanoes, contains two main historically active craters, one at the summit and the other, Pichillaima, to the SE. The massive, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic, stratovolcano has a volume of 400 km3. A Holocene edifice built primarily of accumulated lava flows was constructed over an 8-km-wide caldera that formed about 13,200 years ago, following the eruption of the 24 km3 Curacautín Ignimbrite. More than 40 scoria cones dot the volcano's flanks. Following the end of an explosive stage about 7200 years ago, construction of the present edifice began, characterized by Strombolian, Hawaiian, and infrequent subplinian eruptions. Frequent moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows have been recorded since the 17th century.

Information Contacts: Gustavo Fuentealba C., Paola Peña S., and Klaus Bataille, Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Manantial 1710-Carmino del Alba, Temuco, Chile.