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Villarrica volcano, Chile

The 1984-1985 eruption

1984 lava flow

Lava flow cutting into glacier, November 1984
(Full picture JPEG: 72K) Villarrica in eruption, early November 1984. A lava flow is slowly cutting its path into 30 m thick glacial ice on the upper NE flank of the volcano, and slight ash emission is occurring from the active vent in the summit crater. Vapor is generated at the contact of the lava front with the glacier. Photographer unknown, photo supplied by Werner Keller.

lava emission

Lava filling 1971 eruptive fissure
(Full picture JPG: 89 K) December 1984: lava overflowing from the central crater onto the NE flank has filled much of the upper portion of the gaping fracture formed during the 29 December 1971 paroxysm. Weak lava fountaining occurs from the 20 m diameter vent of the central cone. Compare this to the photo taken immediately after the 1971 eruption. Photo by Benyamin, courtesy of Werner Keller.

Strombolian activity

Strombolian activity from cinder cone within the summit crater
(Full picture GIF: 204 K) Scan from a postcard showing small Strombolian-type explosion from the central vent of the intacrateral cinder cone, probably in November 1984. Note large spine-shaped feature to the left, formed during the culimiating phase of the 1971-1972 eruption.

1984 lava flow

Summit cinder cone and lava flow, 1984 eruption
(Full picture JPEG: 65K) Aerial view of Villarrica from NE, showing the summit crater filled with the actively growing cinder cone and lava flow being fed from a small lava lake at the base of the cone. Note that the actual lava flow is much narrower than the channel cut into the glacial ice. A high scarp of ice is visible to the left of the lava flow. Photographer unknown, photo supplied by Werner Keller.

Villarrica crater, 1985

Villarrica's crater after the 1984-1985 eruption
(Full picture JPEG: 49 K) Aerial view of Villarrica in March 1985, after the end of major eruptive activity. The latest episode of increased activity occurred on 3-4 February 1985 and covered the summit with new tephra and large bombs. The cinder cone that had grown during the early stages of the 1984-1985 eruption has collapsed and a new intracrateral pit has formed which remains in slight activity.

Villarrica crater, 1985

Close-up of Villarrica's crater, March 1985
(Full picture JPEG: 118 K) Similar view as previous. Note the central pit crater and small pit adjacent on its upper left side. The summit area is littered with large bombs ejected during the latest intense activity, on 4 February 1985. Glacier on E flank and caldera rim are visible in the background. Photo by Kunze, courtesy of Werner Keller.

Villarrica crater, 1985

1971 eruptive fracture completely filled
(Full picture JPEG: 89 K) Another aerial view taken by Kunze in March 1985. Direction is approximately the same as on the second photo on this page, illustrating that since December 1984 considerable lava outflow has continued to fill the 1971 eruptive fracture (at left). View is to south in this photo. Note large eccentric cone on the SW flank near right margin of photo.

Villarrica crater, 1985

Summit of Villarrica and 1971 fracture on SW flank
(Full picture JPEG: 89 K) Villarrica is seen here from the west in March 1985. It is evident that snow has remained under the cover of tephra deposited in the November 1984 to February 1985 activity (right). In the lower right, the SW portion of the 1971 eruptive fracture is still well visible. Photo by Kunze, courtesy of Werner Keller.

See Villarrica in eruption, 1948-1949, 1963-1964, 1971-1972, and most recently

Page set up on 14 July 1996, last modified on 1 February 1997