Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex continues to erupt


Nearly two months after ash and steam began spewing from a fissure in Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex, the volcano continued erupting. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1)satellite captured this natural-color image on July 31, 2011.

A pale ash plume rises above erupting fissures, then fans out toward the north and east. The plume casts a shadow over the lava flow along the western (left) edge of the image. To the south of the plume, areas that have not been coated with lava sport instead a dendritic pattern of white snow and brown ash.

On July 31, SERNOGEOMIN, Chile’s geology and mineral agency, reported that a minor eruption was in progress at Puyehue-Cordón Caulle. The volcano released gas and ash, accompanied by a continuous volcanic tremor. In late July, an average of one low-magnitude earthquake per hour occurred beneath the volcano. Cameras installed around the site showed an eruption column height of 2 kilometers (1 mile) on July 31, and Chile’s Meteorological Office forecast that the plume would likely move toward the east-southeast overnight.

The eruption at Puyehue-Cordón Caulle began on June 4, 2011. The eruption sent an ash plume high into the atmosphere, and winds sent the ash around the Southern Hemisphere. (EarthObservatory)

Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes (OVDAS) reports Caulle cord activity during the past 24 hours. The volcanic alert level is red: minor eruption. The eruption process continues and may again have an increase in the activity. There were no long-period events associated with explosive events. There were also no harmonic tremor episodes of high intensity, associated with possible outpouring of lava. Through the IP cameras installed around the volcano was possible to observe the eruption column, with a maximum height approximately equal to 2 km Through NASA images obtained with the satellite MODIS – TERRA provided by the Meteorological Office of Chile, there was a plume towards the north, in an approximate length of 80 km, the prognosis for the night, according to the wind direction will be a spread east-southeast. Importantly, the current situation, volcanic hazards are reduced to fine ash falls and lahars generated by damming side channels, the occurrence of rain. The main channels that can be affected by lahars in the current situation are the northeast: Nilahue river, river Buttress and at southeast: Gol Gol basin and channels Puyehue National Park. (SERNAGEOMIN)

The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex (PCCVC) is a large NW-SE-trending late-Pleistocene to Holocene basaltic-to-rhyolitic transverse volcanic chain SE of Lago Ranco. The 1799-m-high Pleistocene Cordillera Nevada caldera lies at the NW end, separated from Puyehue stratovolcano at the SE end by the Cordón Caulle fissure complex. The Pleistocene Mencheca volcano with Holocene flank cones lies NE of Puyehue. The basaltic-to-rhyolitic Puyehue volcano is the most geochemically diverse of the PCCVC. The flat-topped, 2236-m-high Puyehue volcano was constructed above a 5-km-wide caldera and is capped by a 2.4-km-wide summit caldera of Holocene age. Lava flows and domes of mostly rhyolitic composition are found on the eastern flank of Puyehue. Historical eruptions originally attributed to Puyehue, including major eruptions in 1921-22 and 1960, are now known to be from the Cordón Caulle rift zone. The Cordón Caulle geothermal area, occupying a 6 x 13 km wide volcano-tectonic depression, is the largest active geothermal area of the southern Andes volcanic zone. (GlobalVolcanismProgram)






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