Chaitén Volcano erupted unexpectedly in May 2008 in one of the largest eruptions globally since the 1990s. It was the largest rhyolite eruption since the great eruption of Katmai Volcano in 1912, and the first rhyolite eruption to have at least some of its aspects monitored. The eruption consisted of an approximately 2-week-long explosive phase that generated as much as 1 km3 bulk volume tephra (~0.3 km3 dense rock equivalent) followed by an approximately 20-month-long effusive phase that erupted about 0.8 km3 of high-silica rhyolite lava that formed a new dome within the volcano’s caldera. Prior to its eruption, little was known about the eruptive history of the volcano or the hazards it posed to society. This edition of Andean Geology contains a selection of papers that discuss new insights on the eruptive history of Chaitén Volcano, and the broad impacts of and new insights obtained from analyses of the 2008-2009 eruption. Here, we summarize the geographic, tectonic, and climatic setting of Chaitén Volcano and the pre-2008 state of knowledge of its eruptive history to provide context for the papers in this edition, and we provide a revised chronology of the 2008-2009 eruption.
Additional publication details
Overview of Chaitén Volcano, Chile, and its 2008-2009 eruption
Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería Gobierno de Chile