Chaiten Week 4: Potential for dome collapse?

Chaiten 2008 SERNA


We've been hearing a lot of conflicting reports about the state and future of the Chaiten eruption. Now ending its fourth week of eruption, Chaiten was said to be easing up a bit, but recent reports have Luis Lara from the SERNAGEOMIN still worried about a potential collapse, followed by a devastating eruption. I'll have to take his word for it as the explanations in the article don't really make a lot of sense. It sounds like both Lara and Dr. Petrinovic (Argentina) are worried about dome collapse, but that would just form large pyroclastic flows ... unless the dome collapses enough to release the pressure on the underlying magma, then maybe you could get a large eruption (see Mt. Saint Helens, 1980). I also have some compositional data from ash erupted at Chaiten (big thank you to reader Werner Luis for finding these). Most of the ash is rhyolite (73-75 wt% SiO2), but at least a couple are dacite (64-65 wt% SiO2), which indicates that the composition of the lava/ash erupting has changed during the eruption. There isn't much context to the data, but it is still interesting nevertheless.


An added note on the flight cancellations by LanChile, apparently the problem is more related to wind direction than increased activity, but both are likely playing a role.

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less