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Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 29 May-4 June 2013


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (29 May-4 June 2013)



37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 28-29 May seismicity at Copahue had decreased with respect to the previous 24-hour period; the majority of the signals were low-magnitude hybrid events, detected at an average rate of 127 per hour. Meteorological cloud cover prevented visual observations. During 29-30 May seismicity again decreased; earthquakes were detected at a rate of 40 events per hour. A camera near the volcano recorded a white plume that rose 100-200 m and drifted SE. The seismic network continued to record a downward trend during 30-31 May, with 120 events per hour detected during the night. By the time of the release of the report at 1700 on 31 May about 20 events per hour were being detected. Visual observations were again inhibited due to weather conditions. About 42 events per hour were recorded during 31 May-1 June, about 52 events per hour were detected during 1-2 June, and about 102 events per hour were detected during 2-3 June. A small plume rose 80 m above the crater during 2-3 June. ONEMI reported on 3 June that about 280 people, of 2,440 people, remained within the 25-km evacuation zone. That same day SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level to Orange.

Geological Summary. Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.

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