Tag Archives: puyahue

Giant floating pumice islands – let’s go!

Posted by Jim:  Here’s a very fresh satellite image of the area around Bariloche, Argentina, where I will be on sabbatical leave starting 1 Sept.  To the northwest you can see the plume from the eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile, which is still ongoing.  The big blue lake is Lake Nahuel Huapi (Bariloche is on its shores, to the southeast).  Most notable are the gray swirls and blotches.  These are gigantic floating islands of pumice.    Full picture is here.

Gray rafts of floating pumice in Lake Nahuel Huapi. The Puyahue volcano is at upper left.

The pumice was deposited during the initial eruption a month ago and it has been washing ashore ever since (see Esteban Balseiro’s video).  Winter is descending in Bariloche now and we are planning a series of studies of the effects of the eruption on nutrient cycling and plankton communities in Nahuel Huapi and beyond.    Now if they would just reopen the Bariloche airport!