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Laguna del Maule volcano

Updated: Dec 3, 2022 10:17 GMT -
caldera 3092 m / 10,144 ft
Central Chile, -36.02°S / -70.58°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 28 Dec 2021 (Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report)

Laguna del Maule is a 15x25 km wide lake-filled volcanic caldera in central Chile near the border to Argentina, east of Nevados de Longavi volcano. The complex is less than 30,000 years old and covers 300 km2 contains a cluster of small stratovolcanoes, lava domes, and cinder cones some of which are younger than 10,000 years.

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Typical eruption style: explosive
Laguna del Maule volcano eruptions: unknown, but less than 10,000 years ago

Latest nearby earthquakes

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Background

In this region of the Andes, the volcanoes are about 90 km above the top of the subducting slab of the Nazca place, the so-called Benioff zone, which dips at an angle of 25 degrees. The subducting plate is broken into different segments subducting at different angles under continental crust of varying thickness. This results in zones of different magma generation. Volcanoes around 33-34 deg S are predominantly andesitic, while volcanoes south of 37 deg S are more basaltic. The Laguna del Maule volcano lies in this transition zone. It has more silica-rich, even rhyolite lavas than the volcanoes further to the south, which are mainly basaltic.

4 volcanic units are distinguished in the evoution of the Laguna del Maule volcanic complex:
1) Valley unit
2) Dikes and Volcanic neck unit
3) Volcanic Cones
4) Lake unit

Valley unit: 14 lava flows are found exposed in the upper part of the Maule river valley. Their vents are covered by younger lava flows of the Lake unit.
The Lake unit consists of rhyolitic domes and flows, as well a cluster of Pleistocene cones found around Maule Lake. The individual vents include Domo del Maule, Loma de los Espejos, Colada Occidental, Colada Dendrifonne, Colada las Nieblas, Cerro Barrancas, Colada Cari-Launa, and an explosion crater on the eastern side of the lake. The latter represents the latest activity from Laguna del Maule.
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Source:
- Frederick A. Frey, David C. Gerlach, Rosemary L. Hickey, Leopoldo Lopez-Escobar and Francisco Munizaga-Villavicencio (1984) "Petrogenesis of the Laguna del Maule volcanic complex, Chile (36° S)", Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Volume 88, Numbers 1-2, 133-149


See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
Wed, 22 Dec 2021, 13:43

Laguna del Maule volcano (Central Chile-Argentina border) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 22 December-28 December 2021 (Continuing Activity)

SERNAGEOMIN reported that inflation at Laguna del Maule continued in an area SW of the lake during 1-15 December, though deformation had been decreasing since October with a with a maximum rate of 1.88 centimeters per month. Deformation rates during November and December were comparable to those recorded prior to 2019. The number of volcano-tectonic events had also decreased; the largest event was a M 2.3 located 4.1 km ESE from the center of the lake at a depth of 6.1 km. ... Read all
Wed, 24 Mar 2021, 20:35

Laguna del Maule volcano (Chile): volcanic unrest continues

The caldera remains restless with continued seismic activity above background levels and increased gas emissions. No eruption is expected in the near future, but the volcanic system remains under close surveillance. ... Read all
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