Calbuco Volcano Facts: Know All About Chile's Active Volcano | Kidadl


Calbuco Volcano Facts: Know All About Chile's Active Volcano

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Calbuco Volcano is believed to be one of the most active volcanoes in Chile.

This stratovolcano is located in the Los Lagos region, pretty close to the cities of Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas. Chile's Calbuco Volcano erupted in April 2015 and on a couple of occasions without any warning signals.

Andes Mountain range is the parent range of Calbuco Volcano. This volcano is among the three most dangerous active volcanoes in Chile. Before 2015, this southern Chile volcano underwent a major eruption in 1972. After more than 40 years, when it erupted in 2015, it formed a huge ash cloud over the mountainous area of southern Chile. Other than the eruptions in 2015 and 1972, this volcano in southern Chile has erupted on multiple occasions in the 20th century, including in 1961, 1929, 1917, 1909, and on a few other occasions. The explosive eruption, which took place in 1961, saw the ash columns rising as high as 7.5-9.3 mi (12-15 km). Scroll down to learn more about this volcano in the southern region of Chile.

Location Of Calbuco Volcano

When it comes to the geographical location of this volcanic mountain, it lies at a distance of around 30.4 mi (49 km) from Puerto Varas.

Calbuco Volcano is located in the Los Lagos Region in the northwestern part of Chapo Lake and the southeastern part of Lake Llanquihue. This Chilean volcano has an elevation of 6,611 ft (2,015 m), but the prominence of this volcanic peak is 6,385 ft (1,946 m). The volcano is known to be extensively elongated in the southwest and northeast directions while being capped by a 1,312-1,640 ft (400-500 m) wide summit crater.

Formation Of Calbuco Volcano

The evolution of Calbuco Volcano is believed to have been a complex process. This process was known to have included an intermediate edifice's collapse.

This entire process formed the now-seen Calbuco Volcano during the Pleistocene period. This collapse also produced a debris avalanche that reached the renowned Llanquihue Lake. At the same time, the name of this volcano is believed to have been derived from the Mapuche words 'kallfü' and 'ko', meaning 'blue' and 'water', respectively.

How many times has Calbuco Volcano erupted?

Calbuco Volcano is believed to have erupted 36 times during the Holocene period. Still, only 13 of these were recorded in the books of history. In the 20th century, Calbuco Volcano erupted on around 10 known occasions, with the century's first eruption recorded in 1906.

Of all the times that Calbuco Volcano has erupted in the past years, there were a few times when it caused massive havoc. In January 1929, the eruption from the volcano included a lava flow and an apparent pyroclastic flow. The volcanic eruption in April 1917 led to the formation of a lava dome that was formed in the crater alongside hot lahars.

On April 22, 2015, Calbuco Volcano eruption took place after it had remained dormant for over 40 years. The first eruption led to the formation of an ash cloud rising as high as 9.3 mi (15 km) above the volcano's surface. Later that night, a second eruption produced something as unique as volcanic lightning, leading to a red alert being announced in the nearby areas and forcing all airlines to cancel their flights. Such was the intensity of this eruption.

This eruption also led to the Chilean Geology and Mining Service and the Chilean Emergency Management Agency ordering an evacuation of all citizens in a 12.4 mi (20 km) radius of the volcano. Following this incident, there were some added concerns, such as the contaminated water sources nearby and the respiratory problems that could be triggered due to all the dust and ash in the air. Moreover, air travel was severely affected in the region for an extended time period.

Calbuco volcano and Llanquihue lake in Chile

What type of volcano is Calbuco?

Calbuco Volcano in southern Chile has been categorized as a stratovolcano. It is a conical-shaped volcano like most others. The volcano has been made up of multiple lava layers, pumice, volcanic ash, and tephra.

Stratovolcanoes are generally recognized by their explosive eruption and pretty steep profile. At the same time, some stratovolcanoes have collapsed craters known as calderas. Usually, the lava flows from a stratovolcano cools down and hardens before spreading into a large area due to its high viscosity. In stratovolcanoes, extensive felsic lava flows are rarely seen, but there have been times when it has traveled to as far as 9.3 mi (15 km).

In a stratovolcano, the magma that forms the lava is generally felsic and contains high to intermediate silica levels. At times the stratovolcanoes are also known as composite volcanoes due to their composite layered structure that is usually built up from sequential outpourings of eruptive materials. Over the years, stratovolcanoes have emerged as one of the most famous volcano types in the world. Two of the most widely recognized stratovolcanoes to date are believed to be Vesuvius and Krakatoa. The former is infamously remembered for destroying the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii following its eruption in 79 AD. The other volcano, Krakatoa Volcano, also claimed several lives when it erupted in 1883. Hence, stratovolcanoes are generally more destructive due to their viscous magma and the tendency to spew ash.

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