Puyehue volcano (Chile) : watch the 2-week eruption from outer space

Summary : Earthquake-Report.com is following this still ongoing (but weakened) eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile.  From the very beginning we have tried to bring you an overview of the video's and pictures available in different websites. Some video's and or pictures are behind links as we are a poor non-profit organization and as we are not able to pay the photo credits from AFP, AP, GETTY etc.  The eruption started with a number of moderate earthquakes.
If you only want to see videos from this eruption, we advise you to watch all the video's in our Quake-TV.org website.

UPDATE 21/06 - 10:06 UTC : The VAAC in Darwin has released the following estimates of the ash cloud. It looks like by 0900 GMT 22/06 (17:00 Wednesday 22/06 AEST), the ash cloud should be far enough east of Sydney to allow a decision to be made as to the allowability of flights. (This is a non-binding interpretation of the diagram.)

VAAC Darwin estimates from the Bureau of Meteorology (Property of VAAC Darwin)

UPDATE 21/06 - 08:25 UTC : Australia's two major airports face the prospect of being shut down for up to 48 hours as the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano continues to drift across southern Australia. Click here to read the full article from Australia's ABC News

UPDATE 20/06 - 16:33 UTC : We invite you to take a look at a video made by NASA/NOAA GOES Project showing the 2 week activity of the eruption from spaceClick here or on the picture to start the video.


video made by NASA/NOAA GOES Project showing the 2 week activity of the eruption from space

UPDATE 19/06 - 15:44 UTC : Minster of internal affairs Rodrigo Hinzpeter, has decided that the 4,200 evacuees from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle eruption may return home from today. The decision has been taken after that Sernageomin had reported that the strength of the volcano continued to decrease.
Minister Hinzpeter warned however that if the conditions would deteriorate, a new evacuation could be ordered.

UPDATE 19/06 - 08:10 UTC : The emergency services of the Chile government (ONEMI) will meet on Sunday morning 10 AM (local time). The meeting will decide to a probable decrease of the alert level with another point.
Lowering another point will lead to a return to their houses for many people, after more than 2 weeks having lived in safe shelters.

UPDATE 18/06 - 15:05 UTC : The eruption is subsiding little by little and the alert level has been decreased from 6 to 5.  The altitude of the ash column has now decreased to 12 km and the quantity of ash. The ash quantity spewed by the volcano has decreased from 100,000,000 cubic meters at the start to only 3,000,000 cubic meters yesterday.
The seismic activity of the volcano has lowered the tremors to approx. M2 (compared to 4 and 5 in the beginning)
The minister of mining and energy has declared that if the present situation continues, the alert level will further decrease to 4. If 4 is declared the mandatory evacuation will be be canceled.

UPDATE 18/06 - 14:56 UTC : The Ash cloud from the first explosion / eruption has finished his tour around the world. The 2 weeks old cloud has arrived today in Aysen, Chile at a height of 1000 meters. The composition of the cloud is NOT dangerous anymore.

UPDATE 15/06 - 21:58 UTC : What a beautiful detailed NASA Earth Observatory picture. A week after it first began erupting, Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex continued to emit a steady stream of ash. This false-color satellite image shows the eruption’s ash plume on the morning of June 11, 2011. At the time, the Joint Air Force & Army Weather Information Network reported that the ash rose to an altitude of 23,000 feet (7,000 meters).

UPDATE 15/06 - 08:44 UTC : A spectacular video of a scuba diver entering Lake Nahuel Huapi which has huge amounts of floating ash. Probably dangerous, but the video shows very well how thick the ash layer is in parts of the lake. The lake is close to the Puyehue - Cordon Caulle volcano complex.

UPDATE 15/06 - 07:30 UTC : The director of Chile's Sernageomin, the Ministry of Geology and Minerals, has said that the ash cloud continues to travel at higher altitudes and is making a journey around the world.
The current cloud blows the ash up to 10 km in the sky.

UPDATE 15/06 - 07:20 UTC : The RED ALERT area is maintained for the following locations : Futrono, Lago Ranco and  Río Bueno as well as Puyehue village.

UPDATE 15/06 - 06:57 UTC : The Australian newspaper The Brisbane Times reports that : "It is possible there will be a return to increased eruptive activity" of the Puyehue volcano in southern Chile's Andes mountains, which started belching fumes on June 4, Chile's National Geological and Mines Service said late on Tuesday.

UPDATE 14/06 - 22:37 UTC : NASA Earth Observatory ash plume

Courtesy Nasa Earth Observatory - image taken by satellite on June 13

UPDATE 14/06 - 16:38 UTC : The situation is merely unchanged. The most dangerous area is still the Nilahue river area. People are said NOT to return to their houses as the emergency services are at high alert for eventual damaging landslides.

UPDATE 14/06 - 16:12 UTC : Australian and New Zealand flights have also been canceled today due to  the ash clouds of the Puyehue volcano. The video has been posted by Euronews

UPDATE 13/06 - 20:12 UTC : An update for all the Australians affected by the volcanic ash from Chile. Many flights to Adelaide have been cancelled today. It is unknown whether for the coming days, the flights will be affected or not. Sydney will most likely not be affected, but Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania appear to be the most affected regions. At this point, Perth is unaffected. It is down in the Great Australian Bight at the moment.
Flights for many Europeans and Australians returning to Australia in the coming days through various Asian destinations will be diverted and cancelled as necessary.

UPDATE 12/06 - 11:17 UTC : We have added a new extremely beautiful video in our Quake-TV. org section. The video is like a powerpoint presentation , but is certainly worthwhile to watch. It has been recorded on June 12 and contains most of the news we have written in full in this article.

UPDATE 12/06 - 09:25 UTC : Those among you, who only want to see the video's we have selected so far, can take a look in our Quake-TV.org website.

UPDATE 12/06 - 04:25 UTC : The Red Alert status is still up on Sunday. No people returned yet to their houses.

UPDATE 12/06 - 04:20 UTC : The families who resisted to be evacuated from the riverbed of Rio Nilahue, have been removed by force by the Chilean police. It took the police more than 8 hours to evacuate 40 people. People resisted mainly because they had to leave their livestock behind.

UPDATE 12/06 - 04:15 UTC : 5 million healthy salmons from 3 different hatcheries have been transported to another area as the chance of the fish being killed in the rivers close to the Puyehue volcano is too big.

UPDATE 12/06 - 04:10 UTC : Mixed rain and ash from the eruption generated an avalanche near the (closed) Cardenal Samore border crossing road. The avalanche occurred on Friday night. The mudslide caused no damage or casualties

UPDATE 10/06 - 16:02 UTC : Many flights across New Zealand and Australia have been affected by the ash at higher levels off the atmosphere due to winds blowing ash in the upper atmosphere. Qantas has cancelled some flights between Australia and New Zealand. Officials are expecting problems for the next week but will divert flight paths. Travel chaos is still occurring in Argentina and Uruguay. The south of Brazil has also reported air traffic disruptions.

UPDATE 09/06 - 22:27 UTC : Los Ríos filed an application for protection before the Court of Appeals of Valdivia to enable them to evacuate the 18 people who still did not leave the Riñinahue Alto area, where the Nilahue river is at high flooding risk because of the pyroclastic material who filled the lake and the river .

UPDATE 09/06 - 15:46 UTC : We encourage our readers to watch the following overview movie (it is more like a powerpoint presentation) which includes a number of pictures we haven't seen so far. The video contains current eruption pictures as well as older pictures

UPDATE 09/06 - 15:15 UTC : Next to the road traffic, the government also reported that it increased the frequency of barges on the Lago Pirehueico in Huahum pass to transport passengers traveling between Chile and Argentina.

UPDATE 09/06 - 15:05 UTC : The Chile and Argentine authorities are in a hurry to reopen the border traffic in between both countries and considering to reopen a couple of other mountain passes. The Pino-Hachado pass is normally closed because of snow conditions, but has been reopened for trucks and buses from 09:30 local time today.  Due to expected worsening weather conditions on Friday and Saturday (a lot of fresh snow expected), the pass might be closed again.

UPDATE 09/06 - 15:05 UTC : LAN Chile had to cancel at least 40 flights due the ash clouds. Aerolinas Argentinas and Austral (both Argentine airlines) have also canceled a number of their flights. The situation is carefully looked at by a committee which will meet again in a couple of hours.

UPDATE 09/06 - 10:19 UTC : The fish kills in some of the rivers surrounding the volcano, were at first a mystery for the scientists but after further examination they found out that the temperature of the water has climbed to 45 °C in which the fish could not survive. The normal water temperate of these rivers is approx. 5°C

UPDATE 09/06 - 10:15 UTC : The Chilean minister of Mining and energy, M. Laurence Golborne,  said that the eruption continues to decrease and that the activity may be over by the end of next week. He added however (as we all know), that a Volcano eruption cannot be predicted precisely.

UPDATE 08/06 - 22:42 UTC :An (unstable) video recorded on June 8 in Villa de Angostura, Neuquen, Argentina, approx. 50 km from the volcano. The tick layer of ash gives an impression on the amounts of ash to be found next to the crater. Tomorrow's heavy rain will make the ash very dangerous.

UPDATE 08/06 - 22:32 UTC : Bad weather predicted on Thursday. Heavy rain showers and strong winds will make the clearance of the ash on the roads very difficult.

UPDATE 08/06 - 15:47 UTC : Another video showing the incredible amounts of ash spewed out by the  Puyehue volcano.

UPDATE 08/06 - 15:42 UTC : As a result of the ash filling up the rivers and lakes, big numbers of fish have been killed.

UPDATE 08/06 - 15:14 UTC : The closure of 38 schools in the Los Ríos Region has disrupted classes of 2,720 students.

UPDATE 08/06 - 15:08 UTC : The number of earthquakes near the volcano has decreased considerably which may mean less volcano activity.

UPDATE 08/06 - 15:05 UTC : The authorities are constantly analyzing the water of rivers and lakes. Lake Puyehue is more a clay reservoir today than a crystal clear water lake, as it used to be. A 50 cm thick pyroclastic layer is to be blamed for the pollution.

UPDATE 08/06 - 09:44 UTC : The authorities are hoping to reopen the International Border Crossing Cardinal Antonio Samore road for commercial vehicles based on how the climate behaves in the coming days. Until now there is a 50 cm compacted volcanic ash layer on some stretches of the road. The combination of volcanic ash with rain can trigger huge damaging landslides.

UPDATE 08/06 - 09:35 UTC : The video from LDTV is giving a very good overview of the ash quantities in the surrounding areas of the Puyehue volcano (they can be called impressive!).

UPDATE 08/06 - 09:23 UTC : Bariloche is getting ash showers again. People have been asked to stay inside and to only get outside if necessary. In the meantime, the hotel federation of Bariloche, a tourist destination, is very concerned about what is happening now.

UPDATE 08/06 - 09:18 UTC : LAN Chile, the National carrier, has restarted operations to and from Argentina. Some operations in other regional countries are still disturbed due to the ash cloud

UPDATE 07/06 - 17:28 UTC : The director of Sernageomin, Mr. Enrique Valdivieso, reported that lava might be streaming out of the crater the following hours. The danger is however limited for the population as the lava flows from past eruptions have proved to be thick and slowly streaming.

UPDATE 07/06 - 17:08 UTC : LAN Chile had to suspend 35 flights so far. Brazilian and Argentine flights were also hit by the volcano ash cloud.

UPDATE 07/06 - 16:59 UTC : The ash cloud has blocked flights to and from Santiago de Chile, coming from and going to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

UPDATE 07/06 - 12:07 UTC : Flights from Santiago de Chile to Argentina have been canceled or delayed this morning because of the ash clouds.  The wind is blowing currently to the north-east. Destinations : Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Mendoza

UPDATE 07/06 - 12:03 UTC : The Chilean authorities are constantly monitoring the volcanic area. Monitoring means analyzing the gases, measuring the layers of ash, etc. Based on the resulting data the evacuation perimeter will be extended. The danger for the people living in the area is far from over.

UPDATE 07/06 - 11:56 UTC : Some people living in the Lago Ranco y Futrono area did not want to evacuate because they wanted to take care of their animals and wanted to guard their houses.

UPDATE 06/06 - 22:20 UTC : People living in the upper Gol Gol valley have been ordered to evacuate their houses as the risk on avalanches is building up. The wind direction changed again and is now blowing to the south-east.  The avalanche danger comes from at least 15 cm pyroclastic material building up in the upper Gol Gol valley. The valley where the material is piling up is approx. 500 square km. If this pyroclastic material would  start to move because of the current rain showers, a destructive avalanche can be  generated.
The current wind direction is the same as when the eruption started.

UPDATE 06/06 - 16:36 UTC : Latest photos in HD from “El Mercurio”, chilean newspaper (with thanks to Juan Perez).  Click here to see the picture series. We are labeling this picture series *****

UPDATE 06/06 - 14:42 UTC : About 450 people from Lago Ranco have spend the night in shelters. People in the Lago Ranco area were evacuated as the wind direction changed and as the area was covered with an ash layer. The first 2 days of the eruption, the ash cloud covered the northern Patagonia Argentina Andes area with an ash layer. The Chilean Interior ministry reported that the ash cloud was NOT toxic.

UPDATE 06/06 - 11:54 UTC : Spectacular video of lightning inside Chile Puyehue volcano ash cloud

UPDATE 06/06 - 09:09 UTC : Although the article is in dutch, we want to show the extraordinary pictures from this eruption. Click on this link to watch the beautiful pictures

UPDATE 06/06 - 08:42 UTC : What an impressive smoke column. La Tercera TV video gives a great view of the ash and smoke column. The footage has been recorded by an airplane.  Click here or on the picture to view the La Tercera video

UPDATE 21:58 UTC : Due to the a change in wind direction the ash cloud is now creating ash rain in Lago Ranco, Chile

UPDATE 19:41 UTC : Our reader Juan Perez did shared a link of a webpage containing the most beautiful pictures we have seen so far.


UPDATE 19:39 UTC : Video who shows the ash cover in Bariloche, Argentina

UPDATE 19:20 UTC : The eruption of the volcano has further decreased. Chile Minister of the Interior Hinzpeter has declared that  based on the current situation, the evacuees will be able to return to their houses within 3 days.

UPDATE 12:32 UTC : A very good video from the Chile newspaper La Tercera. It shows the foggy atmosphere in Bariloche where the lights have to burn also during the day. Click here to watch it.

UPDATE 11:20 UTC : The Chile government has admitted that some people living in the "to evacuate" area have refused to be evacuated.

Bariloche ash showers - image courtesy livinginpatagonia.com

UPDATE 11:17 UTC : The ongoing eruption of the Puyehue - Cordon Caulle complex is labeled by Chile authorities as "Moderate"

UPDATE 08:21 UTC : Volcano eruptions are most beautiful to look at during the night. Chile's Radio Bio Bio has a picture of the lightnings inside the ash cloud. No streaming lava can be seen at the moment. Click here to see this picture

UPDATE 08:07 UTC : The Bariloche authorities are telling the population that they expect the ash to come down for at least 24 hours.

UPDATE 08:02 UTC : At the Chile part of the border 3,500 people have been evacuated by Onemi. Although a lot of the ash is coming down at the Argentina side of the border, the people most at risk for falling debris are the Chile villages who are surrounding the National Park area.

UPDATE 07:59 UTC : San Carlos de Bariloche, the biggest city in the are (Argentine side of the border)  and other parts of northern Patagonia are covered by a lot of ash. People report that the ash is coming down like rain.  The administration of Bariloche has called the state of emergency because of the fallout of the volcano.

UPDATE 07:51 UTC : A Video from NYCKATV, Argentina including interviews in Spanish. The images of the erupting volcano are approx. the same than the other video.

UPDATE 03:30 UTC : "We are trying to get people at their homes and to close doors and windows to avoid volcanic ash" Carlos Hidalgo, secretary of communication of Bariloche.

UPDATE 05/06 - 03:00 UTC : The eruption of the volcano Puyehue in Chile caused an ash cloud in the city of Bariloche (south),where the airport was closed, while in the nearby Villa la Angostura a red alert was declared , informed officials in the region.

UPDATE 21:06 UTC : This is the first video showing the eruption in between the cloud deck of the volcano. The quality of the video is rather bad, but this is definitely the first video from the eruption.

UPDATE 20:59 UTC : Onemi has reported that an additional 2,400 people has been asked to evacuate the volcano area. This means that the perimeter at risk has been widened.

UPDATE 20:50 UTC : Official report from Onemi Chile (Spanish) : El Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, SERNAGEOMIN, informó que se ha iniciado el proceso eruptivo del Cordón Caulle, registrándose una explosión y como producto de ello una columna de gases con una altura aproximada de 10 kilómetros.
Atendiendo a estos antecedentes, a las 15:15 el SERNAGEOMIN  ha subido a nivel 6 alerta roja por erupción moderada. Por lo anterior, ONEMI mantiene Alerta Roja para las comunas de Lago Ranco, Futrono, Río Bueno y Puyehue. El Vicepresidente de la República, Rodrigo Hizpeter, junto al Biministro de Minería y Energía, Laurence Golborne y al Director Nacional de ONEMI, Vicente Núñez entregaron los antecedentes y los curso de acción ante esta situación de emergencia.
A partir de esta información se ha continuado la evacuación de los sectores de Pocura, Pichico, Los Venados, Contrafuerte, El Zapallo; agregándose los sectores de Futangue, Pitreño, Trahuico, Riñinahue Alto, Ranquil, Chanco, Epulafquén, Las Quemas, Licán, Boqueal, Rucatayo y Mantilhue, en la Región de Los Ríos. Asimismo, en la Región de los Lagos, se mantiene la evacuación de los sectores El Retiro, Anticura, El Caulle, Forestal Comaco, Anticura Pajaritos, aumentando la cantidad de personas a evacuar a más da 3.000 personas.
Con respecto al proceso de evacuación que se está desarrollando en las localidades próximas al complejo volcánico, las Direcciones Regionales de ONEMI Los Ríos y Los Lagos informaron  que ha evolucionado en forma tranquila, sin generarse situaciones de emergencia durante este proceso.
Las autoridades regionales se encuentran supervisando la evacuación e instalación de albergues que se desarrolla con total normalidad.  Encabezan este operativo los intendentes, Juan Andrés Varas y Juan Sebastián Montes.
Se han habilitado tres líneas telefónicas para informar a la población si deberá evacuar y en entregar la dirección de los albergues disponibles. Números de teléfono: 2524366 – 2524369 – 2524370.
El Centro Nacional  de Alerta Temprana de ONEMI, en conjunto con SERNAGEOMIN – OVDAS, continúa el monitoreo las 24 horas e informará de manera oportuna sobre eventuales cambios en la actividad del volcán, disponiendo de los cursos de acción necesarios, para la adecuada atención de este evento.

Translation : The national service of geology and minery (SERNAGEOMIN) informed that the eruption process of the Cordon Caulle had started, registering an explosion and a result of that, a column of gases with an altitude of 10 kilometers.  At 15:15 (local hour) the SERNAGEOMIN raised the alert to level 6 code red for moderate eruption....
The evacuation is continuing in the sectors of Pocura, Pichico, Los Venados, Contrafuerte, El Zapallo adding the sectors of  Futangue, Pitreño, Trahuico, Riñinahue Alto, Ranquil, Chanco, Epulafquén, Las Quemas, Licán, Boqueal, Rucatayo y Mantilhue in the region of Los Rios. And in the region of Los Lagos the evacution of the sectors  El Retiro, Anticura, El Caulle, Forestal Comaco, Anticura Pajaritos had been manteined with now INCREASING the evacuated people to more than 3000 ...............
3 telephone lines had been enabled......  2524366 – 2524369 – 2524370

UPDATE 19:55 UTC : Our reader Juan Perez, has reported that the volcano went into eruption a little while ago. This news has been confirmed by Chilean Onemi.

UPDATE 19:40 UTC : SERNAGEOMIN is monitoring the volcano complex with six stations and a network camera.
Onemi, on the other hand has permanent monitoring points near the volcanic complex through VHF and HF radio system, communal, provincial and regional as well as links by satellite telephone. Onemi is the governmental emergency service.

UPDATE 19:24 UTC : Chile has approx. 2,000 volcanoes. 125 are seen as geologically active. The last 450 years, 60 volcanoes have been reported as erupted.

UPDATE 19:16 UTC :The earthquakes we have mentioned below are only the strongest ones measured today. Onemi reported at least 230 tremors an hour on Saturday. A very big number of earthquakes is mostly the sign of an immanent eruption.

UPDATE 19:12 UTC : Apart from this, the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle area is one of the main sites of exploration for geothermal power in Chile. Geothermal activity is manifested on the surface of Puyehue and Cordón Caulle as several boiling springs, solfataras and fumaroles.

Puyehue National Park - Panoramiuo picture by Achim Schaffrinna - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6709926

UPDATE 19:05 UTC : The National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin) warned that the earthquakes do indicate the possibility of an eruption.

UPDATE 19:00 UTC : RED alert declared by Chile Onemi for a possible eruption of the Puyehue and/or Cordón Caulle volcano.

UPDATE 18:57 UTC : Chile ONEMI (Government Emergency services) has evacuated 600 people who are living in the Puyehue - Cordón Caulle volcano area. As reported before the earthquakes seemed very strange if the source was tectonic. As ONEMI reported now, the origin of the many quakes is volcanic.

UPDATE : We have searched a few good pictures / videos to show our readers how the volcano looks like. This climbers video (in fact a series of pictures) gives a goof impression of the volcano complex.

Information on both volcanoes :
Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are two coalesced volcanic vents that form a major mountain massif in Puyehue National Park in the Andes of Ranco Province, Chile. In volcanology this group is known as the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex (PCCVC). Four different volcanoes constitute the volcanic group or complex, the Cordillera Nevada caldera, the Pliocene Mencheca volcano, Cordón Caulle fissure vents and the Puyehue stratovolcano. As with most stratovolcanoes on the Southern Volcanic Zone of the Andes, Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are located along the intersection of a traverse fault with the larger north-south Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault. The volcanic complex has shaped the local landscape and produced a huge variety of volcanic landforms and products over the last 300,000 years. Cinder cones, lava domes, calderas and craters can be found in the area apart from the widest variety of volcanic rocks in all the Southern Volcanic Zone, for example both primitive basalts and rhyolites. Cordón Caulle is notable for having erupted following the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, the largest recorded earthquake in history. (Source  : wikipedia)

Original text
A series of moderate earthquakes in the lake district (Andes border area Argentina/Chile). Some epicenters are located in Chile.  After reviewing local reports we can confirm that the origin of the many quakes is volcanic.

Most important Earthquake Data:
M 4.9      2011/06/04 17:54     Depth 20.3 km     NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.7      2011/06/04 17:00     Depth 23.5 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.8      2011/06/04 16:28     Depth 19.6 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.6      2011/06/04 15:19     Depth 35.6 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.6      2011/06/04 15:05     Depth 46.2 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.7      2011/06/04 13:48     Depth 46.8 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.7      2011/06/04 13:20     Depth 35.8 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA
M 4.8      2011/06/04 12:24     Depth 58.9 km      NEUQUEN, ARGENTINA

Links to important maps
Satellite map of the greater epicenter area (first earthquake)

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  1. Voy a visitar Neuquen la proxima semana (Junio 20, 2011) alguna noticia de como andan las cosas? El acceso via carretera esta accesible? les agradezco sus comentarios! Un abrazo.

  2. has anyone been killed or injured in this eruption?

  3. Sorry, I forgot to say "good job!" other than that nitpicking. For the most part your coverage is about the best I've found anywhere; I just wanted to warn you that one video seems to be a bit confused.

  4. The volcano video you've posted by "myshiningstar" is misleading. The first photos are lifted from news reports of Puyehue Cordon Caulle, but then things start going weird: there's a photo of one Kilauea's lava lakes, Anak Krajatao, Montserrat, and some lava-spewing volcanoes I can't identify which are certainly the wrong shape and wrong type of eruption to be this one. I think the presentation is stitched together from random photos of random volcanoes all over the world, old eruptions of OTHER volcanoes.