Tupungatito

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 33.425°S
  • 69.797°W

  • 5660 m
    18565 ft

  • 357010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

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Most Recent Bulletin Report: December 1987 (SEAN 12:12)


Increased summit thermal activity, small ash eruption in January 1986

[On 29 November 1987, an avalanche in the Estero del Parraguirre, a stream in a small valley 20 km NW of Tupungatito, generated a mudflow that killed 41 people and caused major damage along the valley of the Río Colorado, which pases through Chile's capital, Santiago. Initial reports suggested a possible linkage with increased activity at Tupungatito, a linkage that was disputed by other geologists. The material below primarily discusses Tupungatito's activity with that volcano; reports focusing on the debris flow can be found in a separate Estero de Parraguirre file.]

"Reactivation of one of the NW craters with a weak emission of black ash occurred 20 January 1986 at 1030 (figure 1). The activity was observed by the pilot of a Chilean Air Force C-130 and reported directly by radio-telephone to the author. The volcano had been under observation since the last pyroclastic eruption occurred 10 January 1980. After the M 7.8 earthquake that affected the Santiago region on 3 March 1985, vertical aerial photographic coverage was carried out at a scale of 1:20,000 on 25 March 1985. No increased activity was observed within the caldera, which has a diameter of ~5 km and is covered with ice and snow. Glaciers descend from it toward the W. The group of cones and craters with historic activity, in the extreme NW of the caldera, have only a thin covering of snow. Observations on 24 November 1987 show ice partially covered by 20 January 1986 ash, and intense solfataric activity in the same crater (figure 1).

Figure 1. Sketch map by O. González-Ferrán of the summit area of Tupungatito, labeling craters active in recent eruptions and the location of vigorous solfataric activity on 24 November 1987.

"On 4 December, new aerial photographic coverage of the Tupungatito volcanic region was taken by the Air Force Aerophotogrammetric Service at the request of the author and the National Emergency Office.

Analysis of the airphotos revealed a notable increase in snowmelt inside Tupungatito's active craters and an important increase in fumarolic activity without showing a direct relation with the 29 November lahar.

"The volcano remains under observation. If it produced an eruptive reactivation of some magnitude it could: affect the glacier covering the caldera; cause lahars larger than the one that occurred 29 November; and seriously damage the S sector of Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina."

Information Contacts: O. González-Ferrán, Univ de Chile.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Tupungatito.

Index of Bulletin Reports


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

02/1980 (SEAN 05:01) Ash eruption and seismicity

12/1987 (SEAN 12:12) Increased summit thermal activity, small ash eruption in January 1986




Bulletin Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.


02/1980 (SEAN 05:01) Ash eruption and seismicity

A series of subterranean noises at 0623 on 10 January was followed by an explosion that ejected a 1,500-m-high cloud of gas and ash from Tupungatito's SW crater. The next day, Oscar González-Ferrán and Sergio Barrientos flew over the volcano, observing that ash covered the snow NE of the vent and that the eruption was continuing, but with decreased intensity.

The Seismologic Service of the Geophysics Department, University of Chile, recorded considerable seismic activity near Tupungatito. The principal earthquake, at 1851 on 14 January, was a shallow event with an epicenter calculated at 33.2°S, 69°W, 78 km NE of the volcano. It was felt at intensity 3 in Santiago, about 150 km from the calculated epicenter. In the next 2 hours, 17 similar events were recorded, of which three were located with the same epicenter. Between 2100 on 14 January and 0100 on 16 January, 13 more local events were recorded, one of which was fairly large. As of 18 January, both seismic and eruptive activity had diminished. Tupungatito's last eruption, in 1964, consisted of explosions from the central crater.

Information Contacts: O. González-Ferrán, Univ. de Chile, Santiago.
Download or Cite this Report

12/1987 (SEAN 12:12) Increased summit thermal activity, small ash eruption in January 1986

[On 29 November 1987, an avalanche in the Estero del Parraguirre, a stream in a small valley 20 km NW of Tupungatito, generated a mudflow that killed 41 people and caused major damage along the valley of the Río Colorado, which pases through Chile's capital, Santiago. Initial reports suggested a possible linkage with increased activity at Tupungatito, a linkage that was disputed by other geologists. The material below primarily discusses Tupungatito's activity with that volcano; reports focusing on the debris flow can be found in a separate Estero de Parraguirre file.]

"Reactivation of one of the NW craters with a weak emission of black ash occurred 20 January 1986 at 1030 (figure 1). The activity was observed by the pilot of a Chilean Air Force C-130 and reported directly by radio-telephone to the author. The volcano had been under observation since the last pyroclastic eruption occurred 10 January 1980. After the M 7.8 earthquake that affected the Santiago region on 3 March 1985, vertical aerial photographic coverage was carried out at a scale of 1:20,000 on 25 March 1985. No increased activity was observed within the caldera, which has a diameter of ~5 km and is covered with ice and snow. Glaciers descend from it toward the W. The group of cones and craters with historic activity, in the extreme NW of the caldera, have only a thin covering of snow. Observations on 24 November 1987 show ice partially covered by 20 January 1986 ash, and intense solfataric activity in the same crater (figure 1).

Figure 1. Sketch map by O. González-Ferrán of the summit area of Tupungatito, labeling craters active in recent eruptions and the location of vigorous solfataric activity on 24 November 1987.

"On 4 December, new aerial photographic coverage of the Tupungatito volcanic region was taken by the Air Force Aerophotogrammetric Service at the request of the author and the National Emergency Office.

Analysis of the airphotos revealed a notable increase in snowmelt inside Tupungatito's active craters and an important increase in fumarolic activity without showing a direct relation with the 29 November lahar.

"The volcano remains under observation. If it produced an eruptive reactivation of some magnitude it could: affect the glacier covering the caldera; cause lahars larger than the one that occurred 29 November; and seriously damage the S sector of Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina."

Information Contacts: O. González-Ferrán, Univ de Chile.
Download or Cite this Report

Tupungatito volcano, the northernmost historically active volcano of the central Chilean Andes, is located along the Chile-Argentina border about 90 km E of Santiago and immediately SW of the Pleistocene Tupungato volcano. Tupungatito consists of a group of 12 Holocene andesitic and basaltic andesite craters and a pyroclastic cone at the NW end of the 4-km-wide, Pleistocene dacitic Nevado Sin Nombre caldera, which is filled by glaciers at its southern end and is breached to the NW. Lava flows from the northernmost vent have traveled down the NW flank breach. Tupungatito has produced frequent mild explosive eruptions during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1987 Nov 28 1987 Nov 30 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1986 Jan 20 1986 Jan 20 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations NW craters
1980 Jan 10 1980 Jan 11 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations SW crater
1968 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1964 Aug 3 1964 Sep 19 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1961 May 5 ± 4 days 1961 Aug (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1960 Jul 15 ± 5 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1959 Oct 16 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1959 Mar 26 ± 5 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1958 Jan Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1946 1947 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1925 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1907 Feb 15 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1901 Apr Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1897 Jan 1897 Apr 12 (in or after) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1889 1890 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1881 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1861 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1835 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
1829 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Synonyms

Bravard

Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Sin Nombre, Nevado Stratovolcano 6000 m
Steam plumes rise from abundant solfataras lining the shores of the acid crater lake where the eruptive activity took place at Tupungatito during the 1960s.

Photo by Alejo Contreras (courtesy of Oscar González-Ferrán, University of Chile).
Tupungatito volcano, the northernmost historically active volcano of the central Chilean Andes, is the broad, glacier-clad massif at the right center. The glacial icecap fills the southern side of the Pleistocene Nevado Sin Nombre caldera, which is breached to the NW, in the direction of this photo. A dozen Holocene craters are found at Tupungatito, which has produced frequent mild explosive eruptions during the 19th and 20th centuries. Tupungatito is located immediately SW of Pleistocene Tupungato volcano, the large conical peak at the left.

Photo by Sergio Kunstmann-Z, courtesy of Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
Strong fumarolic activity occurs in the crater where the phreatomagmatic eruptions of the past two decades took place. A dozen Holocene post-caldera craters and cones are located at the NW end of the 4-km-wide, Pleistocene Nevado Sin Nombre caldera.

Photo by Alejo Contreras (courtesy of Oscar González-Ferrán, University of Chile).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Casertano L, 1963a. Chilean Continent. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 15: 1-55.

Hildreth W, Moorbath S, 1988. Crustal contribution to arc magmatism in the Andes of central Chile. Contr Mineral Petr, 98: 455-489.

Moreno H, Naranjo J A, 1991. The southern Andes volcanoes (33°-41° 30' S), Chile. 6th Geol Cong Chile, Excur PC-3, 26 p.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Pyroclastic cone

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
612
923
6,161
6,169,105

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Tupungatito Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.