A cloud of lightning-topped ash rises toward a starry sky during the June eruption of southern Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano complex. The summer eruption grounded flights in Chile and neighboring Argentina.
ASTER mapping showing the location of Puyehue, Cordón Caulle, Mencheca and the Carrán volcanics. Cordillera Nevada is the semicircular structure northwest of Cordón Caulle.
Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are two coalesced volcanic edifices that form a major mountain massif in Puyehue National Park in the Andes of Ranco Province, Chile. In volcanology this group is known as the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex (PCCVC).
Four different volcanoes constitute the volcanic group or complex, the Cordillera Nevada caldera, the Pliocene Mencheca volcano, Cordón Caulle fissure vents and the Puyehue stratovolcano.As with most stratovolcanoes on the Southern Volcanic Zone of the Andes, Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are located along the intersection of a traverse fault with the larger north-south Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault.
The volcanic complex has shaped the local landscape and produced a huge variety of volcanic landforms and products over the last 300,000 years.
Cinder cones, lava domes, calderas and craters can be found in the area apart from the widest variety of volcanic rocks in all the Southern Volcanic Zone, for example both primitive basalts and rhyolites. Cordón Caulle is notable for having erupted following the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, the largest recorded earthquake in history.