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The Sciences

Your Daily Chaiten Report

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiMay 14, 2008 12:41 PM

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A bit busy today, so to borrow from the newest USGS/SI Volcanism Report

:

On 12 May, the plume rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. During an overflight conducted by SERNAGEOMIN, four more plumes of a similar altitude were generated by explosions and drifted NE. Several hectares of burned vegetation, likely from pyroclastic flows or lateral explosions, were noted on the N flank of the dome. Small pyroclastic flows may also have been responsible for completely burned forest to areas in the NE, and on the W and NW dome flanks. A lahar caused the banks of the Chaitén River to overflow about 200 m on each side, damaging about 40 houses and numerous cars that were partially or fully submerged. During an overflight on 13 May, evidence of pyroclastic flows on the N flank was observed. An ash-and-gas plume emitted from the lava dome drifted NE. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Sounds like material is spilling out of the caldera and we have proof of both pyroclastic flows and lahars. Could be awhile before we get any reports beyond these SERNAGEOMIN flyovers, but they do seem to indicate that they're won't be much left near the vents when all is said and done.

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