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Láscar volcano in northern Chile is the most active of the northern Chilean Andes. Lascar is an andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano with 3 overlapping summit craters. Large lava flows are visible on its NW flanks.
Lascar is flanked 5 km to the east by the older, but higher Volcán Aguas Calientes stratovolcano.
Lascar has had a number of small to moderate explosive eruptions in historic times, as well as a few larger eruptions that caused ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The biggest eruption of Lascar in historical time was in 1993 and produced pyroclastic flows, which traveled 8.5 km NW of the summit, and ashfall in Buenos Aires.
An moderately strong ash eruption occurred at the volcano yesterday morning at 09:32 local time. An ash plume rose approx. 2.5 km from the summit crater. ...more
It is unclear whether the eruption was caused by fresh magma or, more likely, by an explosion of overheated water (phreatic activity). There had not been any particular indication of new activity. According to SERNAGEOMIN's routine reports, seismic activity under the volcano, dominated by earthquakes related to internal fluid movements, had been progressively decreasing during the past months, from a total of 207 in May to 62 events in September. [less]
Chilean volcanologists were able to make make a helicopter overfly the day before yesterday and could not find evidence of recent lava in the summit crater. However, as the likely source of the recently observed incandescence, very hot gas emissions were observed. ...more
The airborne temperature measurements gave maximum values of 600° C for the gasses, and SERNAGEOMIN thinks that the presence of magma at shallow depth is causing it. The alert level remains at yellow. [less]
A new eruption occurred yesterday at the volcano. SERNAGEOMIN reported that at 09:20 (local time) on 3 March degassing became more intense at the volcano. The plumes were sometimes grey colored, suggesting slight ash content. Incandescence was visible at night. Despite this activity, seismicity remains normal. The (official) Alert Level remains at GREEN.
A significant increase in seismic activity has been registered at Chile's Lascar volcano during during the first half of February, SERNAGEOMIN reports: ...more
Between 1-15 Feb, a total of 350 seismic events or about 21 per day on average were registered, including 233 long-period signals interpreted to be caused by fluid movements, 8 so-called tornillo long-period quakes, one of which lasted 148 seconds, and 3 pulses of volcanic tremor (possibly indicating magma movements). Visible activity consists in pulsating columns of gasses reaching 50-250 m height from fumaroles. [less]
<<Lascar in the Central Andes of Northern Chile started a new eruptive cycle on April 18th 2006, after almost one year of apparent repose (last eruption recorded in May 4th 2005). <br>After one week with several phreatic explosive cycles per day (some lasting up to two hours), reaching up to 3,500 m above the crater, the activity decreased. The ash collected in June around the crater area showed no signs of new magma, in agreement with seismic data (three seismometers were installed for one week, and one for nearly one month to record the seismic activity associated to the explosions). The volcano has continued its activity with several smaller explosions during May, July and August, although much more separated in time (up to several weeks). The last observed explosions occurred on June 12th at 16:00 hrs and August 14th at 18:00 hrs (local time, GMT-4)). The latter lasted for 5 minutes and the plume reached up to 450 m above the crater, and was rapidly dispersed towards the East-Southeast. This unusual long-lasting cycle of phreatic vulcanian explosions of Láscar volcano seems to continue, and efforts from the Chilean Geological Survey (Sernageomin) and the Chilean Emergency Office (Onemi) are under way to install permanent seismometers in the area. Although no signs of new magma have been recognised so far, ascent of new magma in the future cannot be ruled out.>>
"Lascar volcano ... started an eruptive cycle on April 18th 2006 at 11:35 hrs (all are local times). Four explosions were recorded on the 18th, one rose up to 3,000 m above the active crater. Two explosive cycles were observed on the 19th starting at 11:20 hrs and 13:21 hrs, the second being the largest rising up to 800 m above the crater. The plume, which essentially consisted in gases with little ash, was dispersed towards the north. Fine ash fell on the northern upper flank of the volcano within a radius of 3 km. Two new explosive cycles were observed on April 20th starting at 11:05 and 13:39hrs. The latter has been the longer observed so far, lasting 1 hour and 53 minutes. The plume consisted mainly of gases and little ash, rising up to 2500 m above the crater and dispersed towards the N at the beginning and at the end of the cycle towards the NE. Fine ash was deposited on the upper northern and eastern flanks. Finally two new, but smaller, explosive cycles were observed today starting at 08:48 hrs and 11:42 hrs, lasting less than 15 minutes each, with an eruptive column rising up to 3000 m above the crater, similar to those of the previous day, but dispersed towards the westand SW, respectively.
These phreatic explosions show an unusual behavior of the volcano, and there is no evidence so far of new magma reaching the surface. Preliminary seismic data obtained by the Chilean Emergency Office (ONEMI) show only seismic events related to shallow degassing, without any seismic event associated todeeper fractures or magma movements."
Lascar volcano erupted last week, as the Buenos Aires VAAC reported: seen on satellite imagery early on 4 May, Lascar volcano in Chile sent an ash plume into the 4.5-10.6 km a.s.l. range (15,000-35,000 feet), where it was moving to the SE.
--- Background. Lascar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic -to- dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summitcraters and lies 5 km W of an older, higher stratovolcano, Volcán Aguas Calientes. Lascar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption of Lascar took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of theTumbres scoria flow about 9,000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded from Lascar in historical time since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano. The largest historical eruption of Lascar took place in 1993 and produced pyroclastic flows that extended up to 8.5 km NW of the summit.
Source: GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4-10 May 2005
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