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Laguna del Maule

Laguna del Maule, Chile

Laguna del Maule, Chile


Local name: Laguna del Maule
Largest recorded eruption: Welded ignimbrites at 1.5, 0.95 and 0.34 Ma
Last eruption: ~2,000 years ago

Laguna del Maule caldera is 15 x 25 km wide and stretches across the border between Chile and Argentina. The area comprises more than 130 individual vents, including small stratovolcanoes, lava domes, and pyroclastic cones dating from the last 3.7 million years. Its volcanic history is punctuated by large events, as evidenced by welded ignimbrite deposits dating from 1.5, 0.95 and 0.34 million years ago, and more frequent, smaller rhyolitic eruptions. Laguna del Maule also boasts a spectacular concentration of rhyodacite-and-rhyolite coulees and domes, products of energetic post-glacial rhyolitic volcanism. Though no historic activity is recorded here, recent satellite (InSAR) data indicates that the caldera is undergoing exceptionally rapid deformation.

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