Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — 3 April-9 April 2019
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 April-9 April 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Copahue (Chile-Argentina) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 April-9 April 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 5 April OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that seismicity at Copahue increased during 1-31 March, characterized by abundant volcano-tectonic earthquakes and increases in long-period and very-long-period earthquakes. In addition, the level of the lake water in El Agrio crater had dropped compared to previous months. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (second highest level on a four-color scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 500 m of the crater. ONEMI raised the Alert Level to Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the municipality of Alto Biobío.
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.