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Chaiten Volcano Erupts
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The plume from Chile’s Chaitén Volcano blew north-northwest along the coastline on May 28, 2008, almost a full month after its initial May 2 eruption. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day. In this image, the plume remains dense and opaque for roughly 150 kilometers (90 miles) before thinning. As in earlier images, the coastal seawater near Chaitén is colored blue-green, likely the result of volcanic material suspended in the water.
Chaitén is caldera volcano formed by a collapse of the volcanic summit that creates a circular depression. Prior to its May 2008 eruption, the volcano had been dormant for more than 9,000 years.
Dormant for more than 9,000 years, the Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile began to erupt on May 2, 2008, forcing thousands of residents from their homes. In the months that followed, the volcano remained active.