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Report on Nevados de Chillan (Chile) — 8 March-14 March 2017

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 March-14 March 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Nevados de Chillan (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 March-14 March 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (8 March-14 March 2017)

Nevados de Chillan


36.868°S, 71.378°W; summit elev. 3180 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the number of phreatomagmatic explosions at Nevados de Chillán increased on 7 March, after a month and a half of no explosive activity. Explosions from the craters on the E side of Volcán Nuevo and the Volcán Arrau dome complex produced plumes that rose 300 m on 7 March, and then subsequently seismicity and surficial activity gradually increased. On 11 March there were eight explosions detected. Plumes rose as high as 500 m and incandescent material was ejected 500 m away from the craters. A series of eight explosions beginning at 0617 on 16 March generated ash plumes that rose 1.5 km and again ejected incandescent material. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-color scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 3-km radius.

Geologic Background. The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The largest stratovolcano, dominantly andesitic, Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado), is located at the NW end of the group. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The new Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed between 1906 and 1945 between the two volcanoes and grew to exceed Volcán Viejo in elevation. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was constructed SE of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986 and eventually exceeded its height.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)