Report on Laguna del Maule (Chile) — 17 March-23 March 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
17 March-23 March 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Laguna del Maule (Chile). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 March-23 March 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Laguna del Maule
36.058°S, 70.492°W; summit elev. 2162 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 1-15 March the seismic network at Laguna del Maule recorded a total of 123 volcano-tectonic earthquakes. The largest event was a local M 2.4 located 8.2 km WSW of the lake, at a depth of 4.4 km. One tremor event was also recorded. Recent carbon dioxide emission measurements showed an upward trend and that the area of anomalous emissions had expanded. Deformation rates were higher than maximum averages. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-color scale. ONEMI maintained a Yellow Alert for San Clemente and recommended restricted access within a radius of 2 km from the center of elevated carbon dioxide emissions.
Geological Summary. The Laguna del Maule volcanic complex includes a 15 x 25 km caldera with a cluster of small stratovolcanoes, lava domes, and pyroclastic cones of Pleistocene-to-Holocene age. The caldera lies mostly on the Chilean side of the border, but partially extends into Argentina. Fourteen Pleistocene basaltic lava flows were erupted down the upper part of the Maule river valley. A cluster of Pleistocene cinder cones was constructed on the NW side of Maule lake in the northern part of the caldera. The latest activity produced an explosion crater on the E side of the lake and a series of Holocene rhyolitic lava domes and blocky lava flows that surround it.