Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 19 March-25 March 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 March-25 March 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 March-25 March 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that a gradual increase of volcanic tremor was detected at Copahue starting at 0230 on 20 March; from 0230 to 1100 the signal fluctuated and intense periods lasted up to 3 hours. Cameras showed minimal activity at the surface while concentrations of sulfur dioxide increased. The Alert Level was raised to Orange. Residents and visitors were prohibited within a 3-km radius of the active crater. During 21-24 March gas plumes rose at most 500 m and drifted E. Seismicity continued to increase.
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.