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Chile: rumbles under Melimoyu 22 March 2010

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Is another Chilean volcano awakening? Melimoyu volcano in the Aysén region of southern Chile, a glaciated stratovolcano with a summit elevation of 2400 m and a distinctive horned profile, has been making some seismic noise over the past few days. Chile’s state geological service SERNAGEOMIN reported on 20 March that three earthquakes, two of magnitude 3.3 and one of magnitude 5.0, were detected on 17 March beneath Melimoyu. The earthquakes, which have been felt by people in towns near the volcano, continued at a lower level on 18 March.

The earthquakes were detected by the University of Chile’s seismological network and by the network set up to monitor the eruption of Chaitén volcano, which is 140 km north of Melimoyu. The foci were located beneath Melimoyu, at depths of between 3 and 22 km. As of the publication of the SERNAGEOMIN bulletin on 20 March the seismic activity was continuing with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 and frequencies of up to 2 earthquakes per hour; during the activity of 18 March the frequency had reached 8 earthquakes per hour. However, no visual anomalies have been detected at Melimoyu.

SERNAGEOMIN has responded to this activity with commendable speed by installing a network of six seismic stations at Melimoyu to enable permanent monitoring of the volcano.

Pilar Cuevas Mardones, Intendenta of Aysén region, is quoted in El Diario de Aysén as saying that the seismic activity at Melimoyu ‘may indicate the possible beginning of activity at the volcano, which has been dormant for many years’.

Alerta por Volcán MelimoyuEl Diario de Aysén, 22 March 2010

Global Volcanism Program: Melimoyu – information from the GVP about Melimoyu ((1508-052)
SERNAGEOMIN – website of the Chilean state geological service

The Volcanism Blog


1. Guillermo - 24 March 2010

In the SERNAGEOMIN website, there are now 4 reports of that activity, but they did not discard or confirm anything until now.

2. jack - 24 March 2010

I could’nt find much information for this volcano. I read it erupted in 200AD and before that 820BC. thats all I could find on this volcano. Has anyone got more information for this volcano i.e V.E.I eruptions for this volcano and any eruptions before the 820BC I would be very grateful.

3. Jim - 24 March 2010

A link to the seismic activity (when it becomes available) for this volcano would be great. It appears to be about to go. The earthquakes will approach the surface and that will be it.

4. Guillermo - 25 March 2010

For Jack, here is the investigation in which is based almost all info about that poor-known volcanoes of Southern Chile. I hope this will help you a little.


5. jack - 25 March 2010

guillermo, thankyou for the information, that was a good find. I also like the about chaiten at end.

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