<p>Spewed by <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/chile-guide/">Chile</a>'s Puyehue <a href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/volcano-profile/">volcano</a>, ash blankets the Nahuel Huapi lakeshore in Bariloche, <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/argentina-guide/">Argentina,</a> near the Chilean border, on June 12. (See <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/pictures/110617-volcano-eruption-ash-sunsets-chile-science-puyehue-volcanic/">pictures: "Volcano Supercharges Sunsets Far and Wide."</a>)</p><p>Since <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/pictures/110606-chile-volcano-lightning-science-ash-eruption/">the volcano began erupting June 4 (pictures)</a>, ash layers up to a foot (0.3 meter) deep have settled over <a href="http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps/map-machine#s=r&amp;c=-41.14327183080818, -71.31233230233191&amp;z=8">Bariloche (see map)</a> and other Patagonian mountain towns preparing for the busy Southern Hemisphere ski season, according to the Associated Press.</p><p>The fine grit has also traveled around the world via atmospheric winds, disrupting flights as far away as <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/australia-guide/">Australia</a> and <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/new-zealand-guide/">New Zealand</a>. <br>Regional airports in southern Argentina have also been shut down for more than a week due to the ash clouds, which can damage airplane engines, CNN reported.</p><p>(See <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/100415-volcanic-ash-cancels-flights-airports-airline-europe-iceland-volcano/">"Volcanic Ash Stops Europe Flights—Why Ash Is Dangerous."</a>)</p><p>However, the Chile-volcano eruptions seem to be simmering down, and on Sunday thousands of people in southern Chile were told they could return home.</p>

True Grit

Spewed by Chile's Puyehue volcano, ash blankets the Nahuel Huapi lakeshore in Bariloche, Argentina, near the Chilean border, on June 12. (See pictures: "Volcano Supercharges Sunsets Far and Wide.")

Since the volcano began erupting June 4 (pictures), ash layers up to a foot (0.3 meter) deep have settled over Bariloche (see map) and other Patagonian mountain towns preparing for the busy Southern Hemisphere ski season, according to the Associated Press.

The fine grit has also traveled around the world via atmospheric winds, disrupting flights as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
Regional airports in southern Argentina have also been shut down for more than a week due to the ash clouds, which can damage airplane engines, CNN reported.

(See "Volcanic Ash Stops Europe Flights—Why Ash Is Dangerous.")

However, the Chile-volcano eruptions seem to be simmering down, and on Sunday thousands of people in southern Chile were told they could return home.

Photograph by Luis Zabreg, European Pressphoto Agency

Pictures: Volcano Ash Smothers Lake, Buildings, Sheep

Ash from Chile's Puyehue volcano has fallen a foot deep in parts of Patagonia, choking rivers and streams and coating livestock.

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