Eruptions


Llaima in Chile erupting in 2009.

A quick note to pass along about the ongoing eruption at Llaima in Chile. The eruption did seem to be waning earlier in the week, but the news now is that debris from the eruption is partially blocking the vent. The cone of pyroclastic material (tephra) that has been ejected during the eruption is now overlapping the main crater, potentially blocking part of the vent … and most people know what happens if you plug up a volcano that is actively erupting – blammo!

The SERNAGEOMIN is not certain that this cone of material (in spanish) will cause a more intense explosion due to pressure building from the blocked vent, but it is a potential event. This eruption has already spread ash over a wide region of Chile and caused the evacuation of people near the volcano. Right now, the SERNAGEOMIN is keeping the volcano on Red Alert (obviously), but we’ll have to keep a close eye on how this development changes the eruption over the next few days.

Comments

  1. #1 David Lee
    April 8, 2009

    Wow. Spectacular picture. I guess it’ll be blowing up soon. Will that make a serious global ash cloud? Global warming stopped for a year or two?

  2. #2 Erik Klemetti
    April 8, 2009

    The real question in my mind for an eruption of this composition and style would be the volume of volcanic aerosols like sulfur and fluorine erupted.

  3. #3 Patrick
    April 10, 2009

    The volcanic aerosol sulfur will reflect sunlight back out into space. Enough of this and the temperature could drop world wide. Dr. Klemetti, what is it about volcanic aerosol fluorine that concerns you?