Fire Earth

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Ash from Puyehue Cordón Caulle over Australia and NZ

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Ash clouds from Puyehue Cordón Caulle continue to disrupt Australia, NZ flights


The ash plume from Puyehue Cordón Caulle covers southern Australia and the Tasman sea (above), as well as New Zealand and the South Pacific Ocean (below).


Both images were captured by MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.


Credit: NOAA and EUMETSAT


Puyehue-Cordón Caulle in Chile exploded on June 4, 2011 sending an ash plume to a height of about 16km, towering above the local clouds. The top image is a false-color image captured by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The image is rotated clockwise by 90 degrees.  The vertical profile of the atmosphere, captured by CALIPSO, is shown in the colored graph below the MODIS image.  Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Airline Flights

Australian airline Qantas said it was too dangerous to fly through the thick clouds of ash drifting over the Pacific Ocean from  continuous eruption at CORDON CAULLE volcano in the Puyehue Volcano Complex, Chile. Accordingly, it has cancelled all its flights to and from Melbourne. The decision follows earlier flight cancellations in and out of Tasmania and most of of New Zealand.

All other airlines, with the exception of Air New Zealand, have also grounded flights in the region.

The logic-defying Air New Zealand is risking the lives of its passengers by worming in out of the ash clouds, trying to dodge the worst of the plumes. The airline said it was adjusting flight paths to steer aircraft below the ash!!

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand said they felt comfortable with Air New Zealand flight continuing below 20,000feet (6 km) because most of the ash appeared to be above that altitude.

“[Air New Zealand general manager airline operations and safety Captain] Capt Morgan said the MetService had advised that the ash cloud was now much higher and the Civil Aviation Authority was comfortable for domestic and trans-Tasman services to continue to operate.” a report said.

Air Travelers Don’t Seem to Get the Message!

Watch out for multiple planes falling out of the sky in the coming months due to “unknown” or “mysterious” causes.


One of the planes grounded in an Argentine airport after volcanic ash from the Puyehue Volcano eruption in early June 2011 disrupted air travel throughout the region. Credit: Reuters.

Related Links

FIRE-EARTH Volcano Watch

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