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Revista geológica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0716-0208


NARANJO, José Antonio  y  POLANCO, Edmundo. The 2000 AD eruption of Copahue Volcano, Southern Andes. Rev. geol. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.31, n.2, pp.279-292. ISSN 0716-0208.

Although all historic eruptions of the Copahue volcano (37°45'S-71°10.2'W, 3,001 m a.s.l.) have been of low magnitude, the largest (VEI=2) and longest eruptive cycle occurred from July to October 2000. Phreatic phases characterized the main events as a former acid crater lake was blown up. Low altitude columns were deviated by low altitude winds in variable directions, but slightly predominant to the NNE. The presence of the El Agrio caldera depression to the east of Copahue volcano may have caused the variable plume divergences and disturb the prevailing wind direction which is normally to the southeast. Larger magnitude events, comparable to prehistoric eruptions, could occur in the future at Copahue volcano, seriously impacting the tourist localities on the Argentinean (eastern) flanks of this frontier volcano. Unless a constant educational program is implemented, emergency plans will not be enough to prevent catastrophic effects, because the local population strongly believes that only low magnitude eruptions such as those of the sixties, nineties and 2000 AD can be produced at the Copahue volcano

Palabras clave : Volcanic hazards; Explosive volcanism; Holocene; Copahue volcano; Andes; Chile; Argentina.

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