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Lascar volcano

Updated: Dec 4, 2022 03:58 GMT -
stratovolcano 5592 m / 18,346 ft
Northern Chile, -23.37°S / -67.73°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 3 Feb 2022 (Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report)

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.

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Typical eruption style: explosive
Lascar volcano eruptions: 2015, 2006-07, 2005, 2002, 2000, 1994-95, 1994, 1993-94, 1993, 1991-92, 1990, 1990, 1987-89, 1986, 1984, 1974, 1972, 1969, 1959-68, 1954, 1951-52, 1940, 1933, 1902, 1898, 1883-85, 1875, 1858, 1854, 1853(?), 1848

Latest nearby earthquakes

No recent earthquakes

Background

The older Volcán Aguas Calientes has a well-developed summit crater and a lava flow near its summit may be of Holocene age.
Younger Láscar volcano consists of 2 major edifices; activity built a cone to the east and then shifted to the west, where a second cone was built.
The largest eruption of Lascar took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern cone, where 3 overlapping craters were formed.
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Source: Smithsonian / GVP Lascar volcano information

Lascar Photos



2006-07 activity
After the strong ash emissions between 18-23 April 2006, several small to moderate (probably) phreatic explosions occurred throughout the rest of 2006 and into 2007 at irregular intervals.
On 11 March 2007 an ash cloud from Láscar rose to 5.5-6.7 km altitude and drifted E. On 23 May, 2007, an ash plume from Láscar rose to an altitude of 9.1 km and drifted SSE. On 18 July 2007, an ash plume rose to altitudes of 7.6-9.1 km and drifted NE. After July, 2007, Lascar calmed down.
(Source: GVP monthly reports)

2006 April eruption
An eruption at Lascar volcano started on 18 April 2006 and lasted 5 days. The first of 4 explosions on the first day produced an ash plume that reached ca. 10 km above the volcano (ca. 16 km altitude) and was visible from the El Abra cooper mine 220 km NW of the volcano.

2005 eruption
During February to May 2005, a number of mostly smaller phreatic eruptions occurred at Lascar volcano.
A more powerful eruption occurred on 4 May, producing an ash column that reached a height of 11 km and caused fine ash fall in the city of Salta located 285 km SSE of the volcano.

1993 subplinian eruption
The largest eruption of Lascar volcano known in historical times was in 1993: The explosive eruption began late on 18 April with a series of powerful explosions and intensified on 19 April, when it produced a plinian ash column reaching 20-22 km height above the crater. Large pyroclastic flows traveled 7.5 km NW and light ashfall (<0.1 mm) was reported as far as Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1,500 km SE of the volcano.
The area affected by ash fall covered more than 850,000 sq km and stretched into north-central Argentina, southern Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
Thu, 3 Feb 2022, 00:26

Lascar (Chile) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 26 January-1 February 2022 (NEW)

SERNAGEOMIN reported minor increases in surficial activity at Láscar. Nighttime incandescence from the crater began to be visible at least since 11 January. A total of 14 thermal anomalies were identified in satellite data during 13-28 January; the intensity of the anomalies increased on 17 January and peaked on 22 January. ... Read all
Wed, 4 Apr 2018, 06:00

Lascar volcano (Chile) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 4 April-10 April 2018 (New Activity / Unrest)

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that, although seismicity at Láscar during March was low, characteristics of the signals were similar to patterns observed prior to previous minor phreatic explosions, particularly before events in 2013 and 2015. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (second highest level on a four-color scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 5 km of the crater. ONEMI declared an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for San Pedro de Atacama. ... Read all
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