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CHAITEN, CHILE

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Lauren D'Amico

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of CHAITEN, CHILE

Location:
CHAITEN, CHILE
Chaiten is located above the Peru-Chile subduction zone in southern Chile (Satellite Earth Observation, Belspo).
By: Lauren D'Amico
Eruption History:
The eruption of 2008 was by far the most recent.
According to the Smithsonian Institute there has only been two documented eruptions. The first was 7420 BCE (plus/minus 75 yrs)

Legends surrounding Chilean Volcanoes
Historical accounts suggest that many Chilean indigenous people create legends surrounding volcanic activity.
The Mapuches believe that volcanoes are home to the founding father or all lineages and races, called Pillan. When the people anger Pillan he retaliates by using his raging anger to unleash thunder, lightning, tremors, smoke, and lava. Although these people do not fear Pillan they offer him respect by making sacrifices and offerings (Tourism Chile).




Hazard Map:
The green represents the Blanco Chaiten River. As the ash accumulated during the eruption there was also rainfall occurring. This caused a massive lahar that filled the river with 7 m of sediment and buried the town of Chaiten in up to 3 m of sediment. The lahar flowed into the ocean and created a delta (Pierson, Thomas et al). I highlighted the Chaiten river because it leads directly into Chaiten town which is located only 10km away from the volcano. As I have noted Chaiten had a population of 4200 people which makes it the most densely populated region surrounding the volcano. Because the Chaiten river leads directly into the town this pathway is extremely subject to lahar damage.
We can clearly see here how the lahar deposits through the city and deposits into the ocean creating a delta.
Here, is an image of a house in Chaiten that was destroyed due to the lahar from the 2008 eruption.

May 2nd, 2008:
• According to radar interferometry observations from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite they were able to detect surface deformation data, which shows that on May 2nd, 2008 rhyolitic magma migrated from more than 5km depth in less than 4 hours. The volcano erupted explosively with only 2 days of detected precursory seismic activity, which began on April 30th, 2008. (Wicks, 374)
• This eruption produced ash plumes, lahars, and pyroclastic flows associated with a dome collapse (Jessica Ball)
Ash and steam rose to about 17 km high- it was seen as a hydro volcanic eruption and continued to erupt from May 2nd to May 8th with nearly continuous ash emission and intermittent large explosions (USGS).
Chaitén continued to erupt from May 2nd to May 8th with nearly continuous ash emission and intermittent large explosions (USGS).
The five-day eruption sent a thick column of ash and smoke into the stratosphere moving east across Patagonia to the Atlantic Ocean (University of Colorado at Boulder).
Prins, Gerard. (2008). The Chaiten Volcano in Eruption [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/The_chait%C3%A9n_volcano_in_eruption_october_2008_chile_xi_region.jpg
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten Erupting in 2008 [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/10/08/the-speedy-magma-of-chaiten-an/
Chaiten has gained its significance because historically rhyolitic eruptions are rare. The last rhyolitic eruption was from Novarupta volcano, in 1912. Any information about the workings of the magmatic system at Chaiten, and rhyolitic systems in general, are important from a scientific and hazards standpoint due to the rareness of rhyolitic eruptions (Wicks, 376).
Chaiten's Current State:

• There has been a new lava dome building on the north side of the old dome (pre 2008 eruption) (Global Volcanism Program).
• The dome-building process is accompanied by constant degassing (Lowenstern, 2303).
• Chaiten is known to release gasses such as: Cl, F, Li, Be during crystallization of the rhyolitic dome. These volatiles were extremely prevalent in the 2008 eruption and are extremely common after the arrival of the rhyolite at the surface (Lowenstern, 2318).
• Currently, seismicity has been decreasing which may indicate that the growth of the new dome is slowing (Global Volcanism Program).

Risks to local Population and Economy: Impacts of 2008 Eruption-
• Authorities in Chile ordered a complete evacuation of two towns after the initial 2008 eruption (Blackwell Publishing).
• Chaiten Town evacuated over 4,200 people, and Futaleufu evacuated about 1,000 residents (Blackwell Publishing).
Futaleufu is located 113km to the East, near the Argentinean border (University of Colorado at Boulder).
• A big part of the problem was that at the time of the eruption there was heavy rain, and within 10 days of the eruption lahars had over run much of the town of Chaiten due to its location being right at the mouth of the Chaiten River (Blackwell Publishing).


• The volcano’s eruption column reached 17km (55,774ft), which is almost twice a jets normal cruising altitude (Jessica Ball).
• In the first week of the 2008 eruption, five airplanes encountered eruption-cloud ash, and several airplanes sustained significant engine damage (Jessica Ball).
• Airports in Chile, Argentine, and Uruguay (2,300km from the volcano) were forced to close or cancel flights (Jessica Ball).

Geologic Setting:
Two converging plates produced the volcano: the Nazca Plate made of oceanic crust subducts under the more dense South American plate (Satellite Earth Observation, Belspo).
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten Location [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://eoedu.belspo.be/images/VGT/volcanoes-3.gif
Anonymous. (1999). Active Volcanoes, Plate Tectonics, and South America [Photograph]. http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Imgs/Gif/PlateTectonics/Maps/map_south_america_plates.gif
Legends surrounding Chilean Volcanoes
Along with the Mapuches, the Incas also have certain sacrifices they make to ward off the angered spirits within the volcanoes. Generally, the Incas would sacrifice ten young virgins to the volcano (Tourism Chile).
UPI Photo/Landov. (2008). Green lightning strikes as the Chaiten volcano erupts during storms in the middle of the night on May 3, 2008 in Chile [Photograph]. http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1192889-lightning-volcano-at-night-cool/
Gutierrez, Carlos. (2008). Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana [Photograph]. Retrieved from \ http://cache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/chaiten_06_04/chaiten5.jpg
7
7420 BC Eruption
:
The eruption created a pyroclastic surge and pumice flow deposits. The eruption formed the rhyolitic odsidian lava dome in the center of the crater (Jessica Ball, Geoscience News and Information).
The stop date is unknown to researchers however the eruption is certainly confirmed (Global Volcanism Program).
The VEI is a level 4 and the evidence has been found through radiocarbon dating. Tephra release is also documented (Global Volcanism Project).
The second eruption was the 2008 eruption
Simon, Robert. (2010). NASA image [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/43000/43100/chaiten_ali_2010062.jpg
(Side note!) This picture represents what the caldera looked like during the nearly 9428 years of quiescence.
Eruption History:
• The rhyolitic magma body beneath Chaiten has been filling since the great 1960 Chilean earthquake until resulting overpressure exceeded the overlying rock strength which is one reasoning behind the 2008 eruption (Wicks, 276).
Here are a series of pictures from the 2008 Eruption- all pictures were taken between May 2nd and May 8th. It was a pretty sweet eruption so enjoy!
Anonymous. (2008). Eruption of Chaiten, May 2008 [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitenmay08.jpg
Rowan, Chris. (2008). Chilean volcano chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://all-geo.org/highlyallochthonous/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/chaiten.jpg
Brief Background:
• Small, glacier free caldera (Global Volcanism Program).
• Compound Holocene lava dome located 10 km NE from the town of Chaiten (Global Volcanism Program).
• Rhyolitic, 962m high obsidian lava dome covers most of the caldera floor (Global Volcanism Program).
Summit: 1122m (Global Volcanism Program).
Elevation: 3680ft (Global Volcanism Program)
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/index.php


The lahars from the 2008 eruption started May 5th, 3 days after the inital eruption. They were triggered by heavy rainfall (USGS).
Roughly 80 % of Chaiten town was destroyed (USGS).
Aviation:
• On multiple occasions ash from the eruption disrupted air traffic in South America (USGS).

• Two experts on volcanic ash hazards to aviation from the USGS Volcano Hazards Program went to Argentina and Chile to advise civilian and military aviation on safe operations while Chaiten was creating hazardous conditions (USGS).

Vegetation
• The 2008 eruption of Chaitén had significant environmental effects over a wide geographical area (R.S, Martin)

• In January 2009, vegetation samples were collected in Argentina and indicate that there was elevated element concentrations in coirón grass which persisted for more that 8 months (R.S, Martin).


• The compositional change in vegetation that is due to ash fall is especially dangerous for agricultural and ranching activities.

• Many people in Chile and Argentina live a subsistence lifestyle and their livelihood depends on how well their crops and animals do. If the ash affected vegetation for over 8 months then this could negatively impact ranchers in the region.
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten volcano erupts [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=19887


NASA captured this photo on May 3rd.
We see the plume rose high over the Andes Mountains, drifts across Argentina, and dissipates in the Atlantic Ocean.
The ash reached hundreds of Kilometers away from the volcano.
(Earth Observatory, NASA)
Summary of Current Monitoring Activities:
According to The Chilean National Service of Geology (SERNAGEOMIN)- the last recorded activity was reported on 30 December, 2013.
This activity was considered a green level meaning the volcano is active with stable behavior.
On December 30th "monitoring equipment" owned by SERNAGEOMIN detected 173 seismic events of which 45 were VT, and 128 were LP.
There were water vapor emissions that reached 750m reported on 18 December 2013.
Other than this information, provided by Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria Gobinero de Chile, Chaiten has remained relatively quiet.
Here is the link to Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria Gobinero de Chile: http://www.sernageomin.cl/volcan.php?iId=9#
It is important to note that I could not find any recent information on Chaiten recorded by the Smithsonian Institute or USGS. The Chileans are the closest monitors of this volcano hence why the only organization monitoring Chaiten is Chilean.
It is first important to note that the city of Chaiten is located 10 km SW of the volcano and before the 2008 eruption was populated with 4200 people. The city is located at the mouth of the Chaiten River (fed by the Caldera Creek and East Fork)- the river deposits into the ocean (Pierson, Thomas).
This is the Chaiten Caldera. The caldera is created by dome building. When the dome exploded on May 2nd it expelled rhyolitic ash. This ash was constantly expelled for a few weeks prior to the initial explosion (Pierson, Thomas et al).
Yellow Zone:
The blue lines represent tephra isopachs. Going from left to right isopach 1 represents 3 cm of tephra, the 2nd represents 10 cm of tephra, the 3rd represents 20 cm of tephra, the 4th represents 20cm of tephra, the 5th represents 50cm of tephra, and the 6th represents 100cm of tephra (Pierson, Thomas et al). We can clearly see that the prevailing winds were to the SE of the caldera. The tephra isopachs are important to include because too much tephra build up can cause infrastructure damage. It can cause buildings to cave in. With even 3 cm of tephra fallout this can have very negative impacts.
Blue Zone:
The red represents the Chaiten river drainage basin (Pierson, Thomas et al). The fact that there is a river drainage basin here is particularly important. Lot's of rivers and streams run into this basin. As we have learned in class lahars follow these rivers and streams so anyone in this drainage basin is in danger of lahars.
Red Zone:
Green Zone:
Due to the serve lahar damage from the 2008 eruption the Chilean Government is trying to permanently relocate the town (USGS).
Here are some great pictures of the damage that the lahar which ran through the town of Chaiten did in May of 2008-
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/activities/images/chaitentown.jpg
Anonymous. (2008). Town of Chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=19887
Vargas, Monica. (2008). A house is flooded by El Rio Blanco in Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSN1337916920080515#a=1
Anonymous. (2008). A worker drives cattle on a road covered with ashes from the erupting Chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/tm/2008/galleries/potw090508/potwchile090508_428x269_to_468x312.jpg
A worker drives cattle on a road covered with ashes from the erupting Chaiten, from Futaleufu on May 9th 2008
Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitentown2.jpg
Anonymous. (2008). Mudflow deposit inside room in Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/wheelchair.jpg
Lahar deposit inside room in Chaiten town.
Proposal to Reduce Risk:
To reduce risk I propose that the town of Chaiten should be permanently relocated. As I stated before, the Chilean Government is already working to do this however I think it would not only minimize lahar damage but it would eliminate it. Because the town is located right at the mouth of a major river, this location is the opposite of ideal. Since Chaiten is specific to dome building I think inserting tilt meters is important to recognize where there is growth in the new dome located on the north side of the old dome. Since Chaiten erupts extremely infrequently I think no other extreme measures should be taken at this time except having the volcano well monitored at all times so the town of Futaleufu can be notified and aviation hubs.
VDAP's Response to the 2008 Eruption:
The US Government proposed to send a VDAP team to help SERNAGEOMIN install real-time seismic monitoring on May 8th, 2008 (USGS).
One week later VDAP and 15 trunks of gear were in Chile helping handle the situation at Chaiten.
VDAP bringing in equipment on May 20th.
Anonymous. (2008). Bringing in equipment on may 20th [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/supplies20may08.jpg
Anonymous. (2008). More equipment [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/cart20may08.jpg
More equipment
Works Cited:
Anonymous. (2008). View of vent [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitenvent27may08.jpg
Global Volcanism Program | Chaitén. (n.d.). Global Volcanism Program | Chaitén. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=358041

Ball, Jessica. Chaitén (Chaiten Volcano) - Chile. (n.d.).Chaitén Volcano, Chile: Map, Facts, Eruption Pictures. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.geology.com/volcanoes/chaiten/

Pierson, T., Major, J., Amigo, Á., & Moreno, H. (2013). Acute sedimentation response to rainfall following the explosive phase of the 2008-2009 eruption of chaitén volcano, chile.Bulletin of Volcanology, 75(5), 1-17. doi:10.1007/s00445-013-0723-4

Wicks, C., de, l. L., Lara, L. E., & Lowenstern, J. (2011). The role of dyking and fault control in the rapid onset of eruption at chaitén volcano, chile. Nature, 478(7369), 374-377. doi:10.1038/nature10541

Lowenstern, J., Bleick, H., Vazquez, J., Castro, J., & Larson, P. (2012). Degassing of cl, F, li, and be during extrusion and crystallization of the rhyolite dome at volcán chaitén, chile during 2008 and 2009. (cover story). Bulletin of Volcanology, 74(10), 2303-2319. doi:10.1007/s00445-012-0663-4

Martin, R. S., Watt, S. F. L., Pyle, D. M., Mather, T. A., Matthews, N. E., Georg, R. B., . . . Quayle, B. M. (2009). Environmental effects of ashfall in argentina from the 2008 chaitén volcanic eruption. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 184(3–4), 462-472. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.04.010

Blackwell Publishing. (2008). In the news chaiten explodes. Geology Today, 24(4), 122-126. doi: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=0d60378d-7735-4a7a-a65b-5ed2484d41db%40sessionmgr4004&vid=4&hid=4207


University of Colorado at Boulder. (2008, May 7). Chile's Chaiten Volcano One Of Scores Of Active Volcanoes In Region. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507105654.htm

EOEdu - 10 Years of Imaging South America - Volcanoes. (n.d.). EOEdu - 10 Years of Imaging South America - Volcanoes. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from http://eoedu.belspo.be/en/profs/vgt-south-america-volcanoes.asp?section=1.6.3

Services. (2011). Tourism Chile. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from http://www.tourismchile.com/datos/index.php?id_nodo=311&show=articulos&id_articulo=1

VDAP Responses at Chaitén in Chile. (n.d.). VDAP Responses at Chaitén in Chile. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/activities/re
Chaiten Volcano Erupts : Natural Hazards. (n.d.). NASA Earth Observatory . Retrieved April 30, 2014, from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=19887


:


Works Cites Photos:
Prins, Gerard. (2008). The Chaiten Volcano in Eruption [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/The_chait%C3%A9n_volcano_in_eruption_october_2008_chile_xi_region.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten Erupting in 2008 [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/10/08/the-speedy-magma-of-chaiten-an/


Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten Location [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://eoedu.belspo.be/images/VGT/volcanoes-3.gif

Anonymous. (1999). Active Volcanoes, Plate Tectonics, and South America [Photograph]. http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Imgs/Gif/PlateTectonics/Maps/map_south_america_plates.gif

Gutierrez, Carlos. (2008). Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana [Photograph]. Retrieved from \ http://cache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/chaiten_06_04/chaiten5.jpg

UPI Photo/Landov. (2008). Green lightning strikes as the Chaiten volcano erupts during storms in the middle of the night on May 3, 2008 in Chile [Photograph]. http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1192889-lightning-volcano-at-night-cool/

Simon, Robert. (2010). NASA image [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/43000/43100/chaiten_ali_2010062.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Eruption of Chaiten, May 2008 [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitenmay08.jpg

Rowan, Chris. (2008). Chilean volcano chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://all-geo.org/highlyallochthonous/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/chaiten.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/index.php

Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten volcano erupts [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=19887

Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/activities/images/chaitentown.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Town of Chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=19887

Vargas, Monica. (2008). A house is flooded by El Rio Blanco in Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSN1337916920080515#a=1

Anonymous. (2008). A worker drives cattle on a road covered with ashes from the erupting Chaiten [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/tm/2008/galleries/potw090508/potwchile090508_428x269_to_468x312.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitentown2.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). Mudflow deposit inside room in Chaiten town [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/wheelchair.jpg


Anonymous. (2008). Bringing in equipment on may 20th [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/supplies20may08.jpg


Anonymous. (2008). More equipment [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/cart20may08.jpg

Anonymous. (2008). View of vent [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vdap/images/chaiten/chaitenvent27may08.jpg
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