Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chilean Volcano Callaqui Erupts

The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program reported an eruption today at the Callaqui volcano in Chile. This makes a total of 3 currently erupting volcanoes in Chile with Chaiten, and Puyehue-Cordón Caulle. Chile has seen some rare eruptions from some of its least known, and least active volcanoes in recent years. In 2008, Chaiten, a stratovolcano with no historical records of any eruptive activity, violently exploded, destroying the small town of the same name to the West of the volcano. Puyehue-Cordón Caulle erupted several years later. Both eruptions are ongoing.

The Smithsonian GVP had this to say about the new eruption (which wasn't much):

"Based on a pilot observation, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that the top of an ash plume from Callaqui was at 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 January. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery under clear skies.

Geologic Summary:

The late-Pleistocene to Holocene Callaqui stratovolcano has a profile of an overturned canoe due to its construction along an 11-km-long, SW-NE fissure above a 1.2-0.3 million year old Pleistocene edifice. The ice-capped, 3164-m-high basaltic-andesite Callaqui volcano contains well-preserved volcanic cones and lava flows, which have traveled up to 14 km. Small craters 100-500 m in diameter are primarily found along a fissure extending down the SW flank. Intense solfataric activity occurs at the southern part of the summit; in 1966 and 1978, red glow was observed in fumarolic areas. Periods of intense fumarolic activity have dominated at Callaqui, and few historical eruptions are known. An explosive eruption was reported in 1751, there were uncertain accounts of eruptions in 1864 and 1937, and a small phreatic ash emission was noted in 1980."

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