Thursday, July 7, 2011

Volcano

Joe Banks: I have less than six months to live. The Waponis believe they need a human sacrifice or their island is going to sink into the ocean. They have this mineral your father wants so he hired me to leap into their volcano.
Patricia: What?
Joe Banks: You're not going to make me say that again, are you?
- from the 1990 movie, Joe Versus the Volcano
Here's another picture that impresses. This was taken last month during an eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles south of the capital, Santiago. The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960. The Cordon Caulle volcano exploded with a 10-kilometre-high gas column and evacuated 3,500 people were evacuated from the surrounding area.

As a youth I learned about the Pacific Ring of Fire - look at any world map of volcanoes and see how the Pacific rim is heavily dotted. The US portion of the ring gives us Mount Rainer and Mount Hood that I've visited plus many more in Alaska and along the west coast. I was not aware that Chile has 2000 volcanoes making it the second highest volcanic after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active.

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