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Report on Villarrica (Chile) — 14 February-20 February 2024


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 February-20 February 2024
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2024. Report on Villarrica (Chile) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 February-20 February 2024. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (14 February-20 February 2024)



39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption at Villarrica continued during 12-20 February. At 1937 on 12 February a long-period (LP) earthquake associated with fluid movement was accompanied by a gas emission with minor ash content that rose 420 m above the vent and drifted SW. LP earthquakes at 2206 on 13 February and 0153 on 14 February were accompanied by Strombolian explosions that ejected material 40-60 m high. The ejected material fell back into the crater. LP events were recorded at 0740 on 15 February and 0228 on 17 February, though no emissions were visible on the 15th and weather conditions prevented visual observations on the 17th. The Volcanic Alert level remained at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) and the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the active crater.

Geological Summary. The glacier-covered Villarrica stratovolcano, in the northern Lakes District of central Chile, is ~15 km south of the city of Pucon. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3,500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesite cone at the NW margin of a 6-km-wide Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents are present on the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Eruptions documented since 1558 CE have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)