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Descabezado Grande volcanoDescabezado Grande ("the big decapitated") volcano in central Chile is an active stratovolocano with a 1.4 km wide ice-filled summit crater, a basal diameter of 11 km and a volume of 30 cubic km.
The only historical eruption was in 1932, when a lateral crater formed on the upper NNE, shortly after the end of the major 1932 eruption from nearby Quizapu volcano on the north flank of Cerro Azul. At the moment the volcano is dormant, but the NE corner of the caldera has active fumaroles.
Background:Volcán Descabezado Grande is a late-Pleistocene to Holocene andesitic-to-rhyodacitic stratovolcano. Along with 3788-m-high Cerro Azul, only 7 km to the south, 3953-m-high Descabezado Grande lies at the center of a 20 x 30 km volcanic field.
The Holocene Alto de las Mulas fissure on the lower NW flank of Descabezado Grande produced young rhyodacitic lava flows. Numerous small late-Pleistocene to Holocene volcanic centers are located north of the volcano. The northernmost of these, Lengua de Vulcano (or Mondaca) produced a very youthful rhyodacitic lava flow that dammed the Río Lentué.
Source: GVP volcano information
2009 possible minor activity
On 28 April 2009 fumaroles were discovered on the northern sector of Descabezado Grande volcano. Photos taken from Armerillo, 33 km SW of the volcano, showed elevated emissions of fine pale brown dust or ash from the NE flank of the volcano. The emissions may have been from minor eruptive activity, or rock falls of material from northeastern slopes of the crater.
Source: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office
1982 fumarolic activity
Gas and vapour plumes were observed rising from the main crater on 19 March 1982. This was the first activity at the main crater since 1933.
(GVP monthly bulletin)
1932 eruption of Descabezado Grande
Descabezado Grande Volcano erupted only 2 weeks after the Plinian eruption at nearby Cerro Azul (Quizapu) volcano and it is reasonable to believe that the one played a role in triggering the other.
The first documented fumarolic activity on the volcano was noted high on the west flank between 23-28 April 1932.
On or around 5 June 1932, the volcano had a flank vent eruption on the NNE slope that produced up to 8 km / 26,000 foot ash column (VEI ~3) and deposited 40 meters of tephra around the vent, where a new 600 m crater was formed. Towns in the Central Valley experienced light ash fall.
- J. B. Stone, and Ingerson Earl (1934) "Some volcanoes of southern Chile", American Journal of Science, Series 5 Vol. 28, October 1934, P.269-287