The eruption of Chaitén, at the NASA Earth Observatory 28 September 2009Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory.
Tags: Chaitén, Chile, NASA Earth Observatory, South America, volcanic activity reports, volcanic eruptions
There is a wonderful new image of the ongoing eruption of Chaitén volcano at the NASA Earth Observatory website today. This natural colour image (reduced size version above) was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the NASA/USGS Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 27 September 2009. The full image (2 MB, 2683 x 2683 pixels) from which the reduced picture above is a detail is quite magnificent:
The detail below taken from the large image shows the caldera, which is now almost entirely filled by the constantly-growing lava dome. The area of active growth can be seen in the west (towards the left of the image); this area is steaming vigorously, and the very steep slopes of the dome complex can clearly be seen, particularly towards the south. These steep slopes are unstable, producing constant rockfalls. A large-scale collapse here would send debris flows down the valley of the Chaitén river towards the town of Chaitén, 10 km south of the volcano.
A further detail view shows the town of Chaitén, engulfed in volcanic deposits which have descended the Chaitén river valley from the volcano in the form of volcanic mudflows or lahars. A fan-shaped bank of accumulated volcanic sediment, washed out of the river estuary, cuts the town’s harbour off from the sea.
[NASA image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Thanks to Robert Simmon of the NASA Earth Observatory for giving the Volcanism Blog a preview of this image, and for referencing this blog in his caption.]
Ash and steam plume from Chaitén – NASA Earth Observatory (28 September 2009)
For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.