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Report on Villarrica (Chile) — 22 April-28 April 2015

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 April-28 April 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Villarrica (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 April-28 April 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (22 April-28 April 2015)


Villarrica

Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 15-28 April seismicity at Villarrica fluctuated but remained at moderate levels. Intermittent crater incandescence was observed and diffuse gas plumes mostly consisting of water vapor rose from the crater. Data from monitoring stations and pictures taken during an overflight on 21 April confirmed the presence of a lava lake and Strombolian explosions. During 23-27 April Strombolian explosions ejected material that remained mostly within the crater or no more than 100 m away. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the public was warned to stay outside of a 5-km radius around the crater and 200 m away from drainages.

Geologic Background. Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)