Chile: rumbles under Melimoyu 22 March 2010Posted by admin in volcanoes.
Tags: Chile, Melimoyu, volcanic activity reports
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 Melimoyu – El Diario de Aysén, 22 March 2010