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Report on Puyehue-Cordon Caulle (Chile) — 5 October-11 October 2011

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 October-11 October 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Puyehue-Cordon Caulle (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 October-11 October 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (5 October-11 October 2011)


Puyehue-Cordon Caulle

Chile

40.59°S, 72.117°W; summit elev. 2236 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on seismicity during 5-10 October, 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 visible with an area web camera rose no higher than 4 km above the crater during 5-7 October and were observed in satellite imagery drifting 30-60 km SE, SW, and N. On 9 October a white plume observed with the camera rose 4 km above the crater. Satellite imagery that day showed a widely dispersed ash plume drifting E. On 10 October a plume that was mostly white, but occasionally gray, rose 3.5 km above the crater. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Geologic Background. 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.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)