Calbuco blows its top in Chile

Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted three times in late April. Its cone rises 6,572 feet, but the visible ash column reached an estimated 6.2 miles before disappearing into a dense cloud that scientists estimated rose to 12,000 feet. That cloud is gradually spreading and dissipating around the world.

Nature. Always showing off.



Categories: Green

7 replies

  1. I thought I felt a chill in the air!

  2. I was startled when I saw a similar video clip of this, at first thinking it was in real time. But of course, this is time-lapse photography. I’m guessing it was taken over a period of an hour or so – seems like they ought to tell us.

    I was moved to look up current knowledge about where the heat for vulcanism comes from. It comes from two sources, radioactive decay and residual heat from the Earth’s original formation. The original heat still exists and is still cooling. The core has a temperature of about 5,000 C now and is cooling about 100 C per billion years – amazingly slow! Radioactive elements include uranium 235 and 238, thorium, and most of all, potassium 40. And there may be others. Who knew? The proportion of heat from the two sources is not well understood, but estimates of radioactive sources range from 50% to 80%,

    • I thought the time-lapse element was pretty obvious, given the speed of the rising ash and the changing light. But yes, it would have been interesting to know the actual time span.

      Obviously there is still a lot of heat in the earth’s core, given that the core is molten. And it seems logical that it would be cooling slowly, considering how well insulated it is now. Not to mention the millions of years it has had to cool. Hadn’t thought about radioactivity, though, and the heat it might generate.

  3. Wow, that lightning is something! Volcanic eruptions tend to make for beautiful sunrises and sunsets for thousands of miles around. I lived in Hawaii when Mt. Pinatubo erupted, and there was a drastic and spectacular change–and Mt. Pinatubo was 5,300 miles away.

    • I’ve zero experience with volcanos and not at all sorry about it. But they are fascinating (from a safe distance), Mother Nature at her most fundamental. Fascinating to me that Hawaii was formed and is being formed by volcanos. Would be interesting to visit there one day.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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