The Sciences

Alert Status Raised at Chile's Copahue

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiMay 10, 2013 7:07 PM

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Night view of the incandescence at the summit on Copahue, taken May 9, 2013. Word of caution: night images can make the incandescence seem more intense through long exposures. Compare with this image taken the same night at ~3 km from the crater. Image: @marucaviahue / Twitter. It has been a few months since anything much as happened at Chile's Copahue. Last December, the volcano had a couple small explosive eruptions that sent ash across the Chilean border into Argentina, but that activity didn't seem to be leading to much else, so after raising the alert status to yellow, the SERNAGEOMIN has reduced it to green during the spring. Well, it looks like things are getting more interesting again at Copahue as the SERNAGEOMIN has raised the alert back to yellow after new explosions at the volcano and some impressive incandescence at the summit (see above). The combination of these two events, along with a small but persistent steam-and-ash plume that reaches ~350 meters (1150 feet), means that something is likely up at Copahue and a new period of eruptions could be in the works. Interestingly, little change in the seismicity at Copahue has been noticed with the incandescence and explosions, so not all the signs are pointing towards a new magmatically-driven eruption. Copahue is one of three volcanoes on Yellow alert status in Chile, along with Lascar and Laguna del Maule. I've seen mention of a webcam for Copahue, but none is listed in the SERNAGEOMIN site, so if you have an address for a webcam, please let me know in the comments!

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