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Llaima: latest news and pictures 4 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, eruptions, Llaima.
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From POVI (Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima) in Chile comes the following information and pictures of Llaima’s current activity.

The current cycle of strombolian activity at Llaima, which began in May 2007, is continuing. On 26 May 2009, after a period of unusually heavy rain, a 500-metre long fissure on the upper east flank of the volcano began to emit dense clouds of water vapour. On the following day, 27 May, small amounts of ash were observed mixed in with the water vapour, and on 28 May the vigour of the emissions and the ash content increased. The photograph below of the east flank, taken by Victor Hazeldine, shows the fissure and its emissions on 28 May.

Fissure on the upper east flank of Llaima volcano, with weak ash and water vapour emissions towards the north. (Image copyright Victor Hazeldine.)
Fissure on the upper east flank of Llaima volcano, with weak ash and water vapour emissions towards the north. (Image copyright Victor Hazeldine.)

On 1 June, after further bad weather, the energy of the intermittent emissions along the fissure increased. A powerful phreatic eruption began at 11:20 (local time) on 1 June. The eruption ceased by 12:00, and during that afternoon only one small subsequent eruption was observed.

Phreatic eruption at Llaima, 1 June 2009. Image captured at 11:23 local time (Image copyright POVI.)
Phreatic eruption at Llaima, 1 June 2009. Image captured at 11:23 local time (Image copyright POVI.)

In the early mornings the POVI surveillance camera at Melipeuco shows small, weak glowing points on the volcano, one on the western inner crater, and another sporadic point in the upper segment of the radial fissure. Since the phreatic fissure eruptions began seismicity has remained at normal levels (as measured by POVI instruments 20 km from the volcano) but the number and energy of LP (long period) earthquakes has increased.

Close-up view of phreatic activity at the radial fissure on the upper eastern flank of Llaima. Picture taken on 1 June 2009. (Image copyright Victor Hazeldine.)
Close-up view of phreatic activity at the radial fissure on the upper eastern flank of Llaima. Picture taken on 1 June 2009. (Image copyright Victor Hazeldine.)

The picture above, taken by Victor Hazeldine on 1 June, shows a rare close-up view of the phreatic activity at the fissure. The photograph was taken from a position south-south-east of the volcano, 12 km distant, and clearly shows the 500 m radial fissure on the upper east flank. During the night a small lava flow, divided into two parts, was visible at the top of the fissure.

[Many thanks to Werner Keller of POVI for providing this information and the above images exclusively to The Volcanism Blog. For copious and detailed coverage of Llaima, visit the POVI Llaima website.]

For all our Llaima coverage: Llaima « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Llaima – summary information for Llaima (1507-11=)
Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile
Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima – Llaima Visual Observation Project

The Volcanism Blog

Comments

1. Ann - 4 June 2009

Possible flank collapse brewing here ala St. Helens?


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