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Puyehue Cordón Caulle at the NASA Earth Observatory 9 March 2012

Posted by admin in Chile, NASA Earth Observatory, natural hazards, Puyehue.

The eruption under way at the Puyehue Cordón Caulle volcanic complex in Chile, which began in June 2011 and which caused large-scale evacuations and much disruption last year, may yet reach its first anniversary but appears to be waning. The NASA Earth Observatory has published images of the volcano captured in February and March 2012 which show a small diffuse plume, much reduced from the voluminous ashy emissions that were causing so many difficulties across South America and further afield last year. Click on the image below (MODIS/Terra image, 7 March 2012) to go to the article at the NASA Earth Observatory.

Puyehue Cordon Caulle, 7 March 2012 (NASA MODIS/Terra image).

As the Earth Observatory article points out, although ash levels are much reduced the legacy of Puyehue’s emissions remains for the local environment, with vegetation killed and lakes coated in floating particulates. An article at the Nature News Blog discusses some of the effects of the eruption on regional ecosystems. Recovery will of course occur, as the article recognizes, ending with the confident prediction by an Argentinian scientist that ‘the ecosystems will recover in due course’. Indeed, it is somewhat anthropocentric to talk, as the Nature News article does, of volcanic ash ‘disrupting’ local ecosystems when volcanoes are themselves a part of those systems.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle – NASA Earth Observatory, 9 March 2012
Chilean volcano’s ash is still disrupting ecosystems – Nature News Blog, 22 February 2012

The Volcanism Blog