Chaiten ash cancels flights

Chaiten Dome 2008

Some news from the Chaiten eruption. Apparently, LanChile has cancelled some flights around the region of southern Chile due to the ash. They likely implies that the eruption column is bigger than reported by the SERNAGEOMIN on Monday, but the report has little in the way of details. Sounds like the volcano is still huffing and puffing away. Definitely one of the more important and interesting eruptions in the last few hundred years and it has the Cascades Volcano Observatory along with the USGS VDAP buzzing (based on some conversations I’ve had recently), even almost four weeks in.


  1. #1 Brian
    May 29, 2008

    Interesting that there is still a lot of buzz about this eruption. Of course it is difficult to predict what will happen next, but what are the other scientists buzzing about? Do they think this could turn into a much larger eruption, i.e. Tambora or Krakotoa?

  2. #2 ewklemetti
    May 29, 2008

    I think the buzz is mostly because we haven’t seen a rhyolite eruption of this scale in the 20th/21st century. The closest might have been the Valley of 10,000 Smokes/Kitmai eruption in Alaska in 1912, but no one got out there to see the effects until weeks afterwards (and that eruption only lasted 2 days vs. the weeks at Chaiten!) I think the geology community will be buzzing about Chaiten for a long time.

  3. #3 Thomas Donlon
    May 29, 2008


    Is anyone moderately fluent in Spanish? It looks as if there was a 5 magnitude quake at Chaiten today. I just look at the words and guess their English equivalents when they look similar. (I can recognize some Spanish words too.)


    I am not sure this whole volcano eruption is over.

  4. #4 ewklemetti
    May 29, 2008

    It is hard to tell from the report how close it is to Chaiten as such. It would likely need to be very close to the volcano for it to be directly related to the eruption. It looks like it was a relatively shallow earthquake (9.8 km), but that area (Los Lagos) is prone to moderate (M=4-5) earthquakes, so the likelihood of a direct connection is small.

  5. #5 Werner Luis
    May 29, 2008

    I speak spanish and a little english.
    The Quake Thomas Donlon ask for, was 74 km N of Chaiten in a deeph of 26 km.
    Here the report in spanish:
    (“…El Instituto de Sismología de la Universidad de Chile señaló hoy que el epicentro del sismo fue localizado a 74 kilómetros al norte de la ciudad de Chaitén, que se encuentra abandonada a causa de la erupción del volcán del mismo nombre, en las cercanías de la localidad de Hornopirén, a una profundidad de 26 kilómetros..”)
    werner luis

  6. #6 ewklemetti
    May 29, 2008

    Thanks for the information … I wonder if we’re looking at the same report? The one I saw said the depth (profundidad) was 9.8 km. If the earthquake was really at 26 km, I would be even more surprised – especially at 78 km away from Chaiten – that it would have anything to do with the volcano.

  7. #7 Werner Luis
    May 29, 2008

    I d´ont know if you mean the same report.
    Chile says that the earthquake has a tectonic origin and has not relation with the Chaiten volcano eruption.
    werner luis

  8. #8 dallas
    December 2, 2010

    Great post. Thanks for the helpful cheat sheets. Now maybe I’ll get my head wrapped around this stuff. Probably not, but it’s a goal. Gotta have them goals.

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