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Chaitén lets fly with a small explosion 5 December 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions.
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The reports that come from SERNAGEOMIN on the ongoing eruption of Chaitén have several times made mention of explosions on the new lava dome, which continues actively growing. One such explosion was noted, and illustrated, in SERNAGEOMIN bulletin no. 62 of 17-24 November. These explosions can be related to localized collapses of the dome or, in the case of less signficiant explosive phases, superficial phreatomagmatic interactions (i.e. hot lava reacting violently as it comes into contact with water).

A reader has e-mailed to say that an explosion occurred today, and was captured by the north-facing DGAC camera at Chaitén airfield, referring to the specific image captures reproduced below, timed at 13:18:53, 13:23:56 and 13:34:01. This seems to have been a relatively significant event, suggesting a small-scale collapse, perhaps on the southern flank of the dome.

Chaiten, 5 December 2008, 1318

Chaiten, 5 December 2008, 1323

Chaiten, 5 December 2008, 1334

And then there was another at around 14:29:

Chaiten, 5 December 2008, 1429

Many thanks to Paul Stockhausen for reporting this event.

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.

Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
ONEMI, Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office (Spanish)
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Spanish)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption

The Volcanism Blog


1. Ilvar - 5 December 2008

Another large one at 18:47:51
These blasts are becoming more and more frequent. Since the announcement of the blast in November 17, the web camera shows a few during the day. Most of them are relatively small but sometimes they get quite large. Today, looking at one hour of frames. I counted 3 relatively small blasts and this large one.
It seems Chaiten is cooking up something…

2. jonathan castro - 5 December 2008

I noticed a similar but more striking plume earlier in the day….i downloaded the frame. is there a way to send the image file to you?

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