Environment

New eruption at Planchón-Peteroa volcano, first since 2011, Chile


A small explosive eruption took place at Planchón-Peteroa volcano in Chile at 13:23 UTC (10:24 local time) on November 7, 2018. This is the first eruption of this volcano since 2011.

The eruption sent volcanic ash up to 4.2 km (14 000 feet) above sea level, according to Buenos Aires VAAC. This is about 1.3 km (4 265 feet) above the crater.

Ash drifted to the ESE, SERNAGEOMIN said, adding that technical alert for the volcano remains at Yellow (2 of 4).

New episodes such as this one or stronger could occur.

This volcanic complex is on Yellow alert since July 10, 2017, after elevated seismicity recorded since July 8.

The last notable eruption took place between February 17 and June 26/27, 2011 (VEI 3).

Geological summary

Planchón-Peteroa is an elongated complex volcano along the Chile-Argentina border with several overlapping calderas.

Activity began in the Pleistocene with the construction of the basaltic-andesite to dacitic Volcán Azufre, followed by formation of basaltic and basaltic-andesite Volcán Planchón, 6 km (3.7 miles) to the north.

About 11 500 years ago, much of Azufre and part of Planchón collapsed, forming the massive Río Teno debris avalanche, which traveled 95 km (59 miles) to reach Chile’s Central Valley. Subsequently, Volcán Planchón II was formed.

The youngest volcano, andesitic and basaltic-andesite Volcán Peteroa, consists of scattered vents between Azufre and Planchón. Peteroa has been active into historical time and contains a small steaming crater lake. Historical eruptions from the complex have been dominantly explosive, although lava flows erupted in 1837 and 1937.

Featured image credit: SERNAGEOMIN


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