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Chaitén Volcano Lava Dome, Chile

Chaitén Volcano Lava Dome, Chile

Reduced volcanic emissions and clear skies over southern Chile reveal Chaitén volcano’s new lava dome. The dome almost completely fills the caldera left behind after Chaitén’s last eruption, which ended about 9,400 years ago. The bare rocky surface of the dome is brown, while gray ash and tephra cover the landscape to the east (right).

Nearby slopes are covered in dead and dying vegetation, stressed by nearly two years of volcanic blasts and gases and ash blown by the prevailing winds. To the west (left) of the volcano, healthy forests remain. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired this natural-color image of Chaitén at roughly 10:30 a.m. local time on March 3, 2010.

NASA image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data from the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon.

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