Report on Nevados de Chillan (Chile) — 11 September-17 September 2019
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 September-17 September 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Nevados de Chillan (Chile) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 September-17 September 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Nevados de Chillan
36.868°S, 71.378°W; summit elev. 3180 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 10-17 September white-to-gray gas plumes from Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater rose 400-800 m above the rim and drifted NE, E, and SE. Explosions sometimes ejected incandescent material onto the E and SE flanks. A lava flow on the NNE flank was 100 m wide, 5 m thick, and had advanced 600 m by 14 September. The Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-color scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián, and stated that the public should stay at least 3 km away from the crater on the SW flank and 5 km away on the ENE flank.
Geological Summary. 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 dominantly andesitic Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado) stratovolcano is located at the NW end of the massif. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed during 1906-1945 on the NW flank of Viejo. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was then constructed on the SE side of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986, and eventually exceeded its height. Smaller domes or cones are present in the 5-km valley between the two major edifices.