Lahars Formed by Lava Flows at Villarrica volcano, Chile

Lava pouring through notch in summit crater, Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Villarrica volcano, 1985

Lava pours through a notch in the summit crater of Villarrica volcano and down its steep, snow-covered cone. When first erupted on October 30, 1984, the lava flowed onto snow and ice and melted a channel estimated to be at least 30 m deep and 50 m wide. The lava then burrowed underneath the ice and emerged again farther downslope on November 13. When the rate of lava production increased on December 6, the flow of meltwater from the snow and ice increased, triggering a small lahar that destroyed a bridge at the base of the volcano.

Villarrica volcano is located in central Chile (39.42°S, 71.95°W) about 650 km south of Santiago. The strato-volcano erupted more than 50 times between 1558 and 1998.

More Information on Villarrica volcano

Summary of activity since 1996 from the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution.


González-Ferrán O., 1985, Descriptions of volcanic eruptions--Chile: Smithsonian Institution Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin (now Bulletin of Global Volcanism Network), vol. 10, no. 1, p. 3.