jump to navigation

Llaima: increase in seismic activity leads to increased alert level 27 April 2010

Posted by admin in Chile, Llaima, volcanoes.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN announced on 25 April that the alert level for Llaima is being raised from Yellow Level 3 to Yellow Level 4 because of ‘the occurrence of earthquakes with high energy levels and tremor signals with durations of up to 20 minutes’. OVDAS volcanologist Gustavo Fuentealba is quoted in El Mercurio as warning that the crater of Llaima remains obstructed (as confirmed in ONEMI’s bulletin of 25 April, which reports the findings of an overflight of the volcano), and that this ‘increases the risk of a new eruption’. There is no change in the appearance of the volcano; fumarolic activity continues from the summit crater.

[Thanks to regular reader Guillermo for information about Llaima.]

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

News
Alarma por alerta amarilla en el volcán LlaimaLa Nación, 24 April 2010
En alerta amarilla cinco comunas adyacentes al volcán LlaimaEl Mercurio, 25 April 2010
Onemi decretó alerta amarilla por actividad en el volcán Llaima – Cooperativa.cl, 26 April 2010

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

Advertisements

Lowered alert level at Llaima 27 March 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN reports in its latest Llaima bulletin that during 5-22 March 2010 ‘seismic activity around Llaima volcano has in general declined, returning to the levels shown before the earthquake of 27 February’. An overflight on 10 March revealed a low level of fumarolic activity, with occasional small white emissions columns reaching approximately 100 metres above the main crater.

As a result of the low levels of activity, the alert level for Llaima (which was raised on 5 March) has been reduced to Yellow Level 3, but the 4-km radius exclusion zone around the crater is remaining in place, and the volcano will continue to be monitored on a continuous basis.

The full Llaima bulletin covering 5-22 March 2010 is available as a PDF here.

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

Chile: alert level raised at Llaima 6 March 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima, Villarrica.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN carried out an overflight of Llaima volcano on 4 March, and in the light of the observations made have raised the alert level for Llaima from Yellow Level 3 to the slightly higher Yellow Level 4.

A bulletin issued on 5 March reports that there has been no major change in the activity or morphology of Llaima since the last analysis on 21 February (although the rate of gas emissions, mainly sulphur dioxide, has increased), there have been large rockfalls on the slopes and some cracking of the ice on the northern and northwestern flanks, ‘possibly due to the powerful movement generated by the earthquake of 27 February 2010). The bulletin also suggests that swarms of tectonic quakes near Llaima have been caused by the fault system responding to the 27 February earthquake. Within the volcano, ‘an increase in the amplitude and duration of seismic activity (tremor)’ , and seismic signals ‘suggesting movement of fluids through minor cracks of a superficial character’, have been detected since the afternoon of 4 March.

This seismic activity has led SERNAGEOMIN to raise the alert level to Yellow Level 4, and to recommend an exclusion zone of 4 km radius aroud the volcano. ONEMI have more details of the alert level for Llaima and the surrounding area in a bulletin issued today.

There are some suggestions in the (Argentine) press that Villarrica volcano has also had its alert level raised, but there is no confirmation of this from SERNAGEOMIN or OVDAS, or in Chilean press reports. The most recent SERNAGEOMIN verdict on Villarrica is in a report on the volcanic chain between San Fernando and Puerto Montt, also issued on 5 March, which describes its current behaviour as ‘normal fumarolic activity’. This morning’s webcam views seem to show fresh ash on Villarrica’s upper slopes, and incandescence has been visible from the crater at night. (More on Villarrica later.)

The Volcanism Blog

Alert level raised at Llaima (updated) 16 February 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The alert level for Llaima volcano in Chile has been raised to Yellow, level III (the second-highest level). The English-language Santiago Times is reporting that steam and gas emissions have been seen at the summit: the volcano ‘could be set to erupt, experts say’. However the Chilean state emergencies office ONEMI describes this as a preventive alert and says that there are no signs that an eruption is imminent. 

The most recent SERNAGEOMIN bulletin for Llaima, released on 11 February 2010 and covering 20 January to 9 February, reports that ’emissions of water vapour and occasional slight emission of gases from the principal crater’ were observed during that period, reflecting normal degassing, but that the volcano’s seismic activity indicates a possible increase in activity in the near future:

Although this release of gases is in a ‘passive’ manner through permeable areas of the crater, continuing to balance the pressure conditions, the oscillating character of the seismic activity, the occurrence of qualitatively different tremor signals, as well as VT [volcanic-tectonic] earthquakes with epicentres within the volcanic edifice recorded during the period of this bulletin, indicate an intense fluid activity within the volcano’s conduits, which along with the fact that the principal crater remains partially obstructed, indicates that the volanic system may be approaching a state of disequilibrium.

… hence the increase in alert level. The OVDAS webcam monitoring Llaima from Cherquenco (giving a close-up view of the summit) shows some steam emissions within the crater – below is a capture from 12:50 UTC today. All four Llaima webcams can be accessed from the OVDAS front page.

Llaima volcano 16 February 2010 (OVDAS Cherquenco webcam)

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

News
Decretan alerta amarilla en el Llaima y restringen acceso al volcánEl Mercurio, 15 February 2010
Declaran alerta roja en volcán chilenoLa Crónica de Hoy, 15 February 2010
Sernageomin eleva nivel de Alerta Amarilla del volcán LlaimaLa Tercera, 15 February 2010
Steam seen from Llaima volcanoSantiago Times, 16 February 2010

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

Llaima and Villarrica webcams 13 January 2010

Posted by admin in Chile, Llaima, Villarrica.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

This information comes courtesy of Boris Behncke, who writes in a comment on this blog that links to a number of new webcams have appeared on the main page of the Chilean SERNAGEOMIN OVDAS website giving views of Llaima and Villarrica volcanoes. The webcams, which do not all work all the time, are as follows:

Llaima from Melipeuco: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_llaima.html
Llaima from Cherquenco: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_llaima2.html
Llaima from Curacautin: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_llaima3.html
Llaima Yarur webcam: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_llaima4.html
Villarrica CVV webcam: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica.html
Villarrica from Llafenco: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica2.html
Villarrica from Pucon: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica3.html
Villarrica from Calafquen: http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica4.html

Many thanks to Boris for this information, which I had completely missed (like Boris, I never visit the OVDAS homepage if I can avoid it, as it’s such a horrible headache-inducing mess).

The Volcanism Blog

Llaima update, 8 December 2009 8 December 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

In Chile the state emergencies office ONEMI has issued a new bulletin on the situation at Llaima volcano, which has been on Yellow Alert since 5 December, reporting observations made by OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN.

Seismicity at Llaima remains unstable ‘with events associated with fluid movements and processes of degasification’, and that numerous fumaroles have been visible when the weather has permitted direct observation.

Low concentrations of sulphur dioxide measured on 5 and 6 December indicate that the main crater remains obstructed. An overflight on 4 December also confirmed the blockage of the crater; fumarolic activity from fissures, mainly of white steam with some blue sulphur dioxide emissions, was observed on the north-east flank of the volcano and the interior north and exterior east and west walls of the crater. The largest fissure, and the seat of the greatest activity, was that situated on the north-east flank of the volcano which was the location of gas and ash emissions during April and June 2009.

Based on these observations ONEMI warns that new eruptive activity cannot be ruled out. Yellow Alert applies to Llaima and the districts of Melipeuco, Vilcún, Curacautín, Cunco and Lonquimay, and the 4-kilometre radius exclusion zone around the volcano remains in force.

The bulletin also announces that from today monitoring of Llaima is to be strengthened with several new broadband seismological stations, and three SERNAGEOMIN fieldwork teams are to be despatched to the area.

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

Llaima update, 7 December 2009 7 December 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Some more information on activity at Llaima volcano in Chile, which is currently on Yellow Alert.

Chilean state emergencies office ONEMI has issued a new bulletin, reporting that ‘a seismic swarm associated with internal degasification’ and marked by ‘increased release of the volcano’s internal energy’ was detected at Llaima between 16:00 and 18:00 local time on 6 December. Fumarolic activity has been continuing, and the main crater remains obstructed. ONEMI is maintaining Yellow Alert for Llaima and surrounding communities, and the 4-kilometre radius exclusion zone remains in force.

Llaima volcano, 18 November 2009 (OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN)
Above: Webcam image of Llaima volcano viewed from Cherquenco on 18 November 2009 (OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN). [source]

The state geological service SERNAGEOMIN have also published a new Llaima bulletin on their web site today, which notes that fumarolic activity and volcanic gas emissions were observed during the period 14 November to 1 December when weather permitted, and contains the following information about recent changes in the volcano’s seismic activity:

Regarding the seismicity associated with Llaima volcano, it has been marked by the occurrence of a new type of LP [long period] event, of low frequency (less than 3.0 Hz), characterized by a spindle-shaped envelope with a higher amplitude (energy) than the other types of LP seismicity and a duration in some cases of up to 4 minutes. A continuing decline in the numbers of the other three types of LP earthquakes was observed, with an average 5 earthquakes per hour being registered, of which two to three correspond to this new type of event. The background tremor kept its characteristics of amplitude and spectral content.

The foregoing (the changes in the types of seismic events, which appear to be generated by different mechanisms) implies a greater complexity in the internal dynamics of the volcano. In addition, the main crater remains blocked, so the likelihood of a possible volcanic reactivation is greater than in previous months.

Yellow Alert, notes the bulletin, indicates that ‘eruptive activity may occur within weeks or months’.

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

Chile: yellow alert at restless Llaima 6 December 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Llaima.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The Chilean state emergencies office ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia) has declared a Yellow Alert for Llaima volcano and surrounding communities. According to an ONEMI bulletin issued yesterday, monitoring of the volcano by SERNAGEOMIN’s Observatorio Vulcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) between 14 November and 1 December showed ‘continuing emission of water vapour, volcanic gases and background tremor’. This marks an increase in activity since mid-November – the appearance of background tremor is particularly significant. The bulletin reports that ‘considering the continuing obstruction of the main crater, and the appearance of these new types of seismic events, [OVDAS] indicates that these background conditions increase the likelihood of a possible eruptive reactivation of Llaima volcano, within the next few weeks’.

The Yellow Alert applies to the communities of Melipeuco, Cunco, Vilcún, Curacautín and Lonquimay: the authorities in these municipalities, along with those of the Conguillío National Park (within which Llaima is situated) are required to update and apply their emergency contingency plans and co-ordinate theire response with the local bureau of ONEMI. An exclusion zone of 4 km radius, centred on Llaima’s main crater, is in operation around the volcano itself.

In a further bulletin ONEMI clarifies that the effects of the increased alert level at Llaima are restricted to the enforcement of the exclusion zone around the volcano and more intensive monitoring of its activity, and that ‘the new Alert status does not create new restrictions on the normal activities of the population’.

UPDATE. The increased alert level ‘is a minor issue’ says the Intendenta of Araucanía Region, imposed by SERNAGEOMIN in response to a change in seismic behaviour: ‘this measure is not to alarm the community  but is an alert to the [monitoring] teams to remain vigilant’.

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

News
Declaran alerta amarilla por actividad del volcán en ChileEl Financiero, 5 December 2009
Chile decreta alerta amarilla en torno a volcán LlaimaEl Comercio, 5 December 2009
Alerta en Chile por posible erupción del volcán LlaimaLa Nación, 5 December 2009
Alerta amarilla por riesgo de erupción del volcán Llaima – Europa Press, 6 December 2009
Llaman a la calma ante aumento de actividad del volcán Llaima – 123 Chile, 6 December 2009

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

Catching up with Chaitén (and Llaima) 20 November 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, Llaima.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

While we wait for SERNAGEOMIN to get around to publishing the latest Chaitén bulletins (which eventually appear as PDFs at the OVDAS site), two brief reports have appeared on the press page of SERNAGEOMIN’s main site, dated 9 November and 16 November, the latter economically combined with a report on Llaima. Translations as follows.

SERNAGEOMIN bulletin on Chaitén volcano
9 November 2009 [original here]

Between 16 and 30 October the eruptive activity of Chaitén volcano, both visually and seismically, has shown no large changes, continuing the developments of the last period. The preceding indicates that the eruptive activity continues with the growth of the dome complex.

On the other hand, the quantity of pyroclastic material both from rock falls and emitted by the block-and-ash flows and lateral explosions has created large accumulations in the adjacent valleys and particularly the valley of the Chaitén river, so that the occurrence of lahars towards Chaitén during periods of intense rain cannot be ruled out.

In consequence, given that the seismicity remains at elevated levels – an effect of the growth of the dome complex – and that the eruptive activity continues with the possibility of the generation of block-and-ash flows in random directions, which may affect surrounding valleys with the generation of new lahars, SERNAGEOMIN suggests maintaining Volcanic Red Alert.

Chaiten 30 October 2009
View from the DGAC camera in Chaitén on 30 October. In general, the base of the column appears much wider, although its height does not exceed 1.5 km above the domes.

SERNAGEOMIN bulletin on Chaitén and Llaima volcanoes
16 November 2009 [original here]

The images observed through the DGAC camera located in Chaitén to the south of the volcano show that during 31 October and 1 November the eruption has continued to produce one column, principally consisting of water vapour with occasional gas and ash. Because of the predominant winds in the area the height of the column has not exceeded 1000 metres above the dome complex. During the rest of the reporting period the continuing [cloud] cover has prevented any visual observation of the activity.

Chaiten 31 October 2009 (left), 1 November 2009 (right)
Images from the DGAC camera in Chaitén on 31 October (left) and 1 November (right).

Between 31 [October] and 1 November the seismicity has remained relatively stable compared with the preceding weeks indicating that the eruptive activity continues with the growth of the dome complex, only rarely observable recently because of the poor weather conditions in the area.

In consequence, given that the seismicity remains at elevated levels, an effect of the growth of the dome complex, and that the eruptive activity continues with the possibility of the generation of block-and-ash flows in random directions which may affect surrounding valleys with the generation of new lahars, SERNAGEOMIN suggests maintaining Volcanic Red Alert.

Llaima volcano

The poor meteorological conditions did not permitt visual observation of Llaima up to 10 November when it was possible to observe that the weak emissions of water vapour around the principal crater and on the east side of the volcano continue, probably due to the melting of snow deposited in these locations.

Although the seismic activity has shown a slight decline in the number of LP earthquakes, its general characteristics have shown the same behaviour as during the preceding period and apparently the principal crater remains obstructed. Given these conditions, it is not possible to rule out a reactivation of the volcano.

In consequence, SERNAGEOMIN maintains Alert Level Green 2 and continues with permanent monitoring of the volcano, and suggests keeping the 4 km radius of exclusion around the principal crater.

Additionally it is reiterated that this alert could change suddenly, depending on the activity observed/registered at the volcano, so that it is recommended that community preparations are maintained along with the revision and updating of emergency plans.

[End of SERNAGEOMIN bulletins.]

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

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption
Global Volcanism Program: Llaima – summary information for Llaima (1507-11=)
Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima – Llaima Visual Observation Project
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile

The Volcanism Blog

SERNAGEOMIN updates for Llaima (22 Aug-1 Sept) and Chaitén (20-31 Aug) 8 September 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, Llaima.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

The Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN has published a joint bulletin covering activity at Llaima and Chaitén volcanoes. The Llaima report covers the period 22 August to 1 September, and the Chaitén report covers 20-31 August. Translation as follows.

SERNAGEOMIN bulletin on Chaitén and Llaima volcanoes
Monday 7 September 2009

Llaima volcano

Although the seismicity of Llaima volcano has remained stable during the period between 22 August and 1 September, with RSAM values within normal ranges, sudden changes cannot be ruled out, possibly associated with instability in the magma column, which can be inferred from the marked instability in behaviour shown by the volcano during recent months. As a result, there is the continuing latent possibility of a volcanic reactivation.

In consequence, SERNAGEOMIN maintains Alert Level Green II and suggests keeping an exclusion zone of 4 km radius around the principal crater. It should be noted that OVDAS personnel are constantly attentive to the development of the volcano’s activity. It is reiterated that this alert could change suddenly, therefore it is recommended that the community stay prepared for any changes in activity that may occur and for corresponding revision and updating of emergency plans.

Laima volcano, 1 September 2009 (photographs by Victor Hazeldine)
Photographs taken by Victor Hazeldine on 01-09-2009.

Chaitén volcano

For its part, the eruptive activity of Chaitén in the period between 20 and 31 August continued with the growth of the dome complex, which was only occasionally observed because of the winter weather conditions.

The images recorded by the DGAC camera, located in Chaitén, to the south of the volcano, show that the eruption continues in unchanging form with a column of gas and ash climbing, occasionally, to 1.5 km above the dome complex. Also block-and-ash flows persist, indicating that this structure continues to grow, particularly towards the western sector of the caldera.

The quantity of deposited pyroclastic material both from volcanic rocks that have been emitted by the block-and-ash flows and from lateral explosions have created large accumulations in the adjacent valleys and especially the Chaitén river valley, so that the occurrence of lahars towards Chaitén [town] during intense rains cannot be ruled out.

In consequence, given that the seismicity remains at high levels – an effect of the growth of the dome complex – and that the eruptive activity persists with the possibility of the generation of block-and-ash flows in random directions, which may affect the surrounding valleys and generate new lahars, SERNAGEOMIN suggests maintaining Volcanic Red Alert.

[End of SERNAGEOMIN bulletin.]

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

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption
Global Volcanism Program: Llaima – summary information for Llaima (1507-11=)
Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima – Llaima Visual Observation Project
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile

The Volcanism Blog