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News
Laguna del Maule caldera (photo: B. Singer / GSA)
Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014
The volcanic field of Laguna del Maule is a potentially dangerous volcano. Scientists have found alarming levels of uplift, suggesting its magma chamber is filling up. What does this mean? In a recent study published at GSA, scientists try to give an answer. [Read the story] [more]
Saturday, Apr 20, 2013
The latest report of Sernageomin indicates that volcanic unrest continues at reduced intensity. GPS measurements show that the central part of the volcanic edifice has been experiencing uplift at a rate of 1.4 cm / month and a horizontal displacement to the west at a rate of 0.64 cm / month. ... [more]
 

Laguna del Maule volcano

caldera 3092 m / 10,144 ft
Central Chile, -36.02°S / -70.58°W
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
Laguna del Maule webcams / live data
Laguna del Maule volcano books
Last update: 9 Dec 2014
Typical eruption style: explosive
Laguna del Maule volcano eruptions: unknown, but less than 10,000 years ago No recent earthquakes
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
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.

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


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