Calbuco Volcano www.weathernetwork


I meant to post this weeks ago, and somehow it got lost in the drafts. It’s an amazing time lapse film of Calbuco Volcano (Chile), which erupted on the night of 22 April 2015 and again the following morning, for the first time since the 1960s. Martin Heck and Jonas Dengler of Timestorm Films were there doing some other filming at the time, some of which I posted earlier this week: Our Planet – The Best Bits I – Patagonia.

Calbuco Ash Cloud


The volcano sent out a huge ash cloud fifteen kilometres into the air which disrupted air traffic for several days. Because of the risk of deadly flows of ash and hot air, a 20 kilometre exclusion zone was immediately declared. The eruption could be clearly seen from Puerto Montt, a city of 200,000 just thirty kilometres away. Seven hours later ash fell in San Martin de los Andes (Argentina), which is 200 kilometres to the north-east, but most of the ash spread to the north-west.

I live not far to the west of Mt Ruapehu, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It last erupted in 2006, but the ash cloud usually travels north-east from the volcano, so I’m pretty safe unless there’s a really big eruption. There’re frequent small earthquakes, which I think of as relieving pressure – I think I’d be more worried if they stopped.

The I Fucking Love Science website put out this explanatory graphic of the Calbuco eruption:


(Source :

Anyway, here’s Timestorm Film’s stunning film. (Is it just me, or does some of that ash cloud look like sheep’s wool – especially Merino?)

Here’s what Timestorm Films had to say about their experience filming the eruption:

Volcano Calbuco erupted on April 22, 2015, for the first time in four decades. Located close to the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt in southern Chile. We (Jonas Dengler and Martin Heck) spend the prior couple of days on the neighboring volcano Osorno (~20km linear distance) shooting timelapses. After an amazing night under the nightsky we took the cable car downwards after a delay caused by repairs. Already late we headed south to catch the ferry on Routa 7 down to Patagonia. After 10min on the ferry we noticed a massive, almost nuclear looking cloud boiling upwards just were we left a few hours ago. Frenetically looking for a good outlook we then rushed to the only non-forested place to get a decent view of the show. We quickly put every bit of camera-equipment we could find on the constantly growing mushroom-cloud. We shot timelapses in 8K and 4K with a Pentax 645Z and Canon 6D. On the A7s we shot 4K video to the Shogun using Kingston HyperX SSDs. We filled almost all of our memory cards in the prior night so I had to do backups while shooting all this stuff.

This was for sure the most incredible show I’ve ever seen. I think this is a one in a lifetime event and I am so happy that we were able to capture it in all its glory.