Guest Video: Villarrica Volcano

Almost sixty eruptions have been documented at this Chilean volcano since Europeans first saw it erupting in 1558.

Villarrica is a classic stratovolcano–the pointy kind – and is one of a group of Southern Andes volcanoes.

Per the volcano’s GVP page, the lava lake has been there intermittently since the mid-1980s.

Since the eruption style has been Strombolian (occasional brief “shots” rather than a sustained lava flow or explosive phase), it’s a little more approachable than some active volcanoes.

Despite the obvious dangers, Villarrica attracts daredevils who bungee a tolerable distance into the crater from a helicopter or do this —

Villarrica is monitored by both Chile (Spanish) and a private group. (Spanish)

Lahars (mud flows) from this volcano killed a hundred people during the 20th century. Other dangers include projectiles – something people soaring or hanging over the crater are especially at risk for in addition to the poisonous gases, heat, and chance eruption cloud. Lava flows also happen at Villarrica and, less frequently, pyroclastic flows.

Featured image: Cristian Gonzalez G. CC BY-ND 2.0.

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