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Eruption of Llaima Volcano, Chile

April 11th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Llaima Volcano, Chile - April 7th, 2009

Llaima Volcano, Chile - April 7th, 2009

Smoke and ash - source: AP

Smoke and ash

Lava flow - source: AP

Lava flow

Chile’s Llaima Volcano erupted on April 5th, spewing lava and ash high into the air around the Conguillio National Park.

The volcano had been experiencing low-level seismic activity for months. Evacuations of villages near the volcano began on April 4th, as two cones in the volcano’s main crater began to release ash into the air. An eruption occurred the next day, with pyroclastic flows, ash and lava seen on the slopes.

Llaima Volcano, visible in the bottom left corner of the main image, is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Chile, with a major eruption last year and in 1994. It is a stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of hardened lava, solidified ash, and rocks ejected by earlier eruptions. Llaima’s activity has been documented since the 17th century, and consists of several separate episodes of moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows.

Llaima Volcano is situated 82 km northeast of Temuco and 663 km southeast of Santiago, within the borders of Conguillío National Park. The volcano, along with Sierra Nevada, surrounds the Conguillío Lake. The average elevation of the terrain around Llaima is about 740 meters above sea level. The top of Llaima consists of two summits, the lower of the two is named Pichillaima, is about 2,920 m (9,580 ft) high and is much less prominent than the other, northern summit.

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