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Report on Villarrica (Chile) — 31 July-6 August 2019

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 July-6 August 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Villarrica (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 July-6 August 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (31 July-6 August 2019)


Villarrica

Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 6 August the Alert Level for Villarrica was raised to Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-color scale, reflecting the recent increase in minor Strombolian activity ejecting spatter onto the flanks near the rim during the past weeks.

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.

Sources: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)