-Photo by bqviajes.com
Located in the Andes, amidst the central area of the Argentina-Chilean border, lies the breathtaking Mount Copahue. This stratovolcano with a 8 km-wide caldera came into existence about a half a million years ago near the Pliocene Caviahue caldera. There is particularly frequent fumarolic activity in the eastern summit crater, as well as intense acidity in the hot springs below the eastern crater lake. However, Mount Copahue itself is not very active in terms of volcanic eruptions, as the number of recorded eruptions since the 18th century have been scant and few. Though the last eruption there occurred in as recently as July of 2000, and its strength marked a record high for the volcano’s eruption history. Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism program reported that ash deposits 3-5 cm thick coated the surrounding village, a sulfurous odor littered the air, and the acidic waters of Copahue’s crater lake poisoned the freshwater in Rio Lomin. So, too, did the phreatic explosions and pyroclastic flows contribute greatly to the overall destruction of this eruption in 2000. Since then, Copahue has been relatively quiet, with only mild fumarolic activity disturbing its peace.