BackgroundChaitén is a small, glacier-free late-Pleistocene caldera with a Holocene lava dome located 10 km NE of the town of Chaitén on the Gulf of Corcovado. The north side of the rhyolitic, 962-m-high obsidian lava dome occupying the 3.5-km-wide caldera is unvegetated. Obsidian cobbles from this dome found in the Blanco River are the source of prehistorical artifacts from archaeological sites along the Pacific coast as far as 400 km away from the volcano to the north and south. The caldera is breached on the SW side by a river that drains to the bay of Chaitén, and the high point on its southern rim reaches 1,122 m. Two small lakes occupy the caldera floor on the west and north sides of the lava dome. Moreno (1985 pers. comm.) noted that the nearby volcano of Yelcho listed by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (1973) does not exist.
Source: Global Volcanism Program at www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm
Lava Dome of Chaiten volcano viewed from North Caldera Rim on 6 Dec. 2009 (Stitched Panorama Image). Dome was in phase of degassing and low level extrusion. (Photo: Richa...
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