Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Northern Chilean Volcano Guallatiri Stirs

According to Volcanodiscovery.com and a few social media outlets, Volcan Guallatiri is experiencing a volcanic quake swarm, prompting SERNAGEOMIN to raise the alert level. According to the Smithsonian GVP, Guallatiri  has not had an eruption since December 2, 1960, and questionable activity was possibly observed in 1985.

So far this activity has not led to an eruption, but as is the case with many Ring of Fire volcanoes, that can change at any moment, and in Chile's case, with or without warning. Chile has seen a string of previously dormant, or long dormant volcanoes activate without warning. The 2008 eruption of Chaiten gave little to no warning. Calbuco volcano was also quiet up until it exploded.

The reason for this is the nature of the lava. Many of Chile's volcanoes are rhyolotic or andesitic, which make for a dense magma with tons of dissolved gases stuck inside waiting to burst, so these stratovolcanoes are particularly nasty when they choose to erupt.

If the volcano does erupt, I will update this post.

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