Scientists monitor eruption’s fallout in Chile


Palena province, home to some of Chile’s most spectacular terrain, has literally been under a cloud since the awakening this month of long-dormant Chaiten volcano. Some experts forecast severe environmental damage on account of the eruption, Chaiten’s first in more than 9,000 years. They say a prolonged eruption could take a serious toll on the region’s temperate rainforest and cause many other problems, ranging from water contamination to worsening of the ozone hole. “Water courses will be seriously affected because of the volcanic material and the blockage of light,” says Luis Lara, a volcanologist with Chile’s National Geologic and Mining Service (Sernageomin). “Plants and trees will be affected because it changes the substratum of the soil, which is important to growth. And for agricultural... [Log in to read more]

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