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Chaitén – May to December 2008 17 December 2008

Posted by admin in Chaitén, Chile, eruptions.
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A new satellite image of Chaitén has been published at the NASA Earth Observatory, showing the town rather than the volcano. It’s a Formosat image acquired on 5 December 2008, and makes an interesting comparison with an earlier image of the same area, acquired on 19 May 2008 and published at the Earth Observatory on 30 May 2008. The two images, slightly cropped and resized, are posted below, with the earliest uppermost.

Chaiten 19 May 2008 (Formosat image)

Chaiten 5 Dec 2008 (Formosat image)

The extensive damage inflicted on the town by lahars descending the Chaitén river valley (here given its alternative name, Río Blanco) and the blockage of the harbour with volcanic ash and debris can clearly be seen in both images. Between May and December the area of the town destroyed by the floods has increased greatly – note the width of the river channel where it passes along the eastern edge of the town and curves through the centre – and the foreshore of ash and mud that now cuts Chaitén off from the Gulf of Corcovado has also expanded as more and more debris has been washed down from the volcano to the sea.

Photographs of the devastation wrought by Chaitén volcano on its namesake town can be found in earlier Volcanism Blog posts here and here.

NASA Earth Observatory: Chaiten Volcano Erupts (19 May 2008)
NASA Earth Observatory: Continued Activity at Chaiten Volcano (5 December 2008)

[Formosat image © 2008 Dr. Cheng-Chien Liu, National Cheng-Kung University, and Dr. An-Ming Wu, National Space Organization, Taiwan.]

Our thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory team for linking from several of their Chaitén posts to this blog, and for citing The Volcanism Blog as a source. For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog


1. ref - 31 December 2008

Interesting photos, thank you for sharing. Volcanism is really interesting

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