jump to navigation

Volcanoes and earthquakes make Russia even bigger 17 November 2009

Posted by admin in Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Already the largest country on the planet, Russia has become even bigger over the past couple of years thanks to the workings of plate tectonics in the Russian Far East. Sakhalin Island was struck by earthquakes on 2 August 2007 (some pictures  here) which added ~3 square kilometers of new territory through uplift, while lava flows from the Sarychev Peak eruption of June 2009 (stunning image here) enlarged Matua Island in the Russian Kurils by 1.5 square kilometres.

The appearance of new land through volcanism has caused international tension in the past, but fortunately there are no such complications this time.

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev Peak SO2 emissions 13 July 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

A sulphur dioxide cloud emitted by Sarychev Peak volcano in the central Kurils can be seen on the NOAA Kamchatka map compiled from OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) data early today:

OMI_SO2 Column 5Km by Volcano - Kamchatka, 13 July 2009 0231Z (NOAA, OMI data). Click on image to enlarge.
[Click on the image above to enlarge.]

The SVERT update on Sarychev Peak for 13 July 2009 reports low-level activity with gas emission but no ash explosions: ‘According to satellite images from today, (MODIS 0907130031UTC), (NOAA 17 0907122247 UTC) ash-gas emission is observed at Sarychev volcano. It stretches east 40 km’. The gas cloud visible in the north-west of the Sea of Okhotsk is the residue of that emitted by Sarychev Peak earlier this month (e.g., see the update on 9 July 2009).

[Thanks to Volcanism Blog reader Gijs de Reijke for spotting this SO2 data.]

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev Peak update, 24 June 2009 24 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

The eruption at Sarychev Peak in the Kurils appears to be on the wane, with no visible emissions cloud reported in the latest Volcanic Ash Advisory from Tokyo VAAC, issued at 02:52 GMT yesterday, 23 June 2009.

The Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported a steam and gas plume extending 120 km south of the volcano on 20 June, a ‘high’ (1.5 km altitude) steam and gas emission stretching 7 km north-west and an intense thermal anomaly on 21 June, a steam and gas plume extending 29 km north at 1.5 km altitude on 22 June, and a 9-km-long steam and gas plume extending north-west and an intense thermal anomaly on 24 June.

Incidentally SVERT also notes possible ‘increasing of steam-gas activity’ at Severgin volcano in its 22 June bulletin, and a thermal anomaly at the same volcano on 24 June. Severgin was the central cone of a volcano on the island of Kharimkotan in the northern Kurils, which destroyed itself in a VEI=5 eruption in 1933. This, the GVP notes, was ‘one of the largest [eruptions] in the Kuril Islands during historical time’. The island shows evidence of repeated slope-failures and collapses precipitating debris avalanches into the sea. The 1933 collapse of Severgin produced a tsunami that reached Paramushir, ~150 km to the north.

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Stunning Sarychev Peak picture from the NASA Earth Observatory 19 June 2009

Posted by admin in NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Sarychev Peak, volcano images.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands, 12 June 2009 (ISS astronaut photograph/NASA Earth Observatory)

The people at the NASA Earth Observatory have been doing a wonderful job of covering the current eruption at Sarychev Peak in the Kuril Islands, but they have really excelled themselves with their latest image: this stunning astronaut photograph of the volcano taken from the International Space Station on 12 June 2009, at an early stage of this eruption. There’s so much of interest to talk about here: the dark ashy plume punching upwards through the atmosphere almost vertically (little shearing wind at this stage), the pileus or cap of white cloud atop the plume, the pyroclastic flows ringing the volcano’s peak, and the neat circle in the surrounding cloud that has been the focus of much discussion among commenters over at Eruptions. Mostly, though, one just wants to sit back and look at this picture and go ‘WOW’.

Here’s a detail taken from the large version of the image. The light-coloured pyroclastic flow descending the volcano’s flanks towards the bottom of the image is an absolute beauty:

Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands, 12 June 2009 (ISS astronaut photograph/NASA Earth Observatory)

The original (un-rotated and un-cropped) image can be found at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of the Earth.

NASA Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands (18 June 2009)

[Date corrected to 12 June - got so excited over the image, I'd put July. Thanks, Martin!]

UPDATE: The image above is just one of thirty pictures of the eruption taken from the International Space Station. Boris Behncke has submitted a very helpful comment explaining how to get hold of all of them via the Gateway to Astronaut Photography: check out his comment below for the instructions.

FURTHER UPDATE (25 June 2009): This dramatic image has achieved very wide coverage across the media since the NASA Earth Observatory featured it, and the ‘circle in the clouds’ around the eruption column in particular has attracted a lot of comment and debate. At the original Earth Observatory page for the image an editorial comment has been added summarizing the different interpretations of this phenomenon (scroll down to ‘Editor’s note’) without coming down in favour of any particular explanation. Here at The Volcanism Blog we’ll have more to say about this image tomorrow next week (been very busy, sorry).

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev pumps out the SO2 18 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory, natural hazards, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Sarychev Peak sulphur dioxide plume, 10-17 June 2009 (NASA OMI/Aura image)

The ongoing eruption of Sarychev Peak in the Kuril Islands has produced a very large cloud of sulphur dioxide – indeed, the largest sulphur dioxide event this year, reports the NASA Earth Observatory in their commentary on the above image. The Earth Observatory also remarks that some satellite data indicate that the Sarychev Peak plume reached 10-15 km altitude, and may have reached as high as 21 km.

Tokyo VAAC is still reporting ‘emissions continuing’ with Sarychev Peak ash reported at 32000 feet/9750 m altitude, and the eruption continues to disrupt flights through the North Pacific air corridors. There have been no updates from SVERT since that of 16 June.

[NASA image courtesy Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).]

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev Peak update, 17 June 2009 17 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

There has been no fresh update on Sarychev Peak from the Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team since yesterday, but the eruption is clearly ongoing: today’s volcanic ash advisories from Tokyo VAAC report emissions continuing, and ash at flight level 320, which is 32000 feet/9750 metres (17 July 2009 18:00 GMT).

The NASA Earth Observatory is doing a wonderful job of bringing us stunning satellite imagery of the Sarychev Peak eruption. The latest satellite image comes from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite and shows the volcano’s plume of ash and steam stretching across the Sea of Okhotsk in an elegant curve. Greenish ashfall is visible in the sea below and to the west of the plume.

Sarychev Peak volcano, 16 June 2009 (NASA Aqua image)

Over at Eruptions Dr Erik Klemetti has a valuable Sarychev update today, including information about the possible future behaviour of the volcano’s plume from Washington VAAC and more news on flight disruptions caused by the eruption.

[NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.]

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev Peak before the 2009 eruption: pictures 17 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

The following pictures were taken by Dr Yoshihiro Ishizuka of the Geological Survey of Japan, which is part of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), during research visits to Matua Island, where Sarychev Peak volcano is located, in 2008. There is a further selection of pictures of the volcano on Yoshihiro Ishizuka’s Sarychev Peak page at the AIST website, showing the general aspect of the place before the current eruption began.

These pictures are copyright Yoshihiro Ishizuka (Geological Survey of Japan, AIST) and are reproduced here with permission. The Volcanism Blog is very grateful to Dr Ishizuka for granting permission for the reproduction of these pictures.

Matua Island and Sarychev Peak from the south-east, August 2008 (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST)
Above: Matua Island and Sarychev Peak from the south-east, August 2008, with weak fumarolic activity visible at the summit (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST).

The volcanic cone of Sarychev Peak, August 2008 (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST)
Above: The volcanic cone of Sarychev Peak, August 2008 (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST).

Sarychev Peak volcanic cone, looking south (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST)
Above: Sarychev Peak volcanic cone, looking south (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST).

Sarychev Peak volcanic cone, looking south (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST)
Above: Sarychev Peak volcanic cone, looking south (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST).

The picture below was taken on an earlier visit in 2000, and shows tephra layers from the southern end of Matua Island. The scale bar is 1 metre in height. At least 19 tephra layers can be identified, composed of pumices, scoriae, ash, and pyroclastic flow deposits, most of them probably from eruptions of Sarychev Peak. An annotated version of this image and accompanying discussion can be found in Yoshihiro Ishizuka, ‘Volcanic activity and recent tephras in the Kuril Islands: field result during the International Kuril Island Project (IKIP) 2000′, available at the IKIP website.

Columnar section of tephras at south end of Matua Island (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST)
Above: Columnar section of tephras at south end of Matua Island (copyrighted photo by Yoshihiro Ishizuka, Geol Surv Japan, AIST).

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Sarychev Peak plume disrupts air traffic 16 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory, Pacific, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

The latest word from SVERT on the Sarychev Peak eruption is that a ‘new eruption began’ on 15 June at 17:30 GMT, and that ‘the stable emission of ash occurred’ at 00:49 GMT today, 16 June. Presumably this means that a continuous eruption of ash began at that time. Certainly Sarychev Peak is producing a very large and impressive plume, with a striking brown colour that speaks of heavy ash content. The NASA Earth Observatory has some great images, including this one captured on 15 June by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s hard-working Terra satellite:

Sarychev Peak volcano, 15 June 2009 (NASA Terra image)

The Earth Observatory caption for this image suggests that a fresh burst of activity was captured in this shot, with the brown cloud of ash forcing its way up directly over Matua Island, where the volcano is located, in a mass some 50 km in diameter. Check out the original page for this image at the Earth Observatory (which also has a nice credit to The Volcanism Blog – always appreciated) to find out more, and for links to more Sarychev Peak imagery.

Tokyo VAAC has been issuing advisories consistently reporting an ash cloud reaching around 10-13 km altitude from late yesterday into this morning. The latest Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory at the time of writing, issued at 08:52 GMT this morning, reports ash between 32000 and 45000 feet (9750-13700 metres).

MODIS thermal anomalies at Sarychev Peak, 15 June 2009 (Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology)

The MODVOLCS thermal alerts monitoring website shows continuing significant thermal anomalies on 15 June (above). This may represent fresh lava flows, or it could be just the presence of hot ash in the plume. Earlier imagery of thermal anomalies can be found in our post of yesterday.

The emissions cloud from Sarychev Peak is causing significant disruption to the north Pacific air corridors. Information and links (and personal experiences!) of diversions and delays can be found – along with a great deal more coverage of the eruption – at Dr Klemetti’s Eruptions blog: Eruption at Sarychev Peak threatening air traffic, Sarychev Peak eruption update for 6/15/2009.

Meanwhile, top Russian volcanologist Alexander Rybin is quoted in a report in Vostok Media (illustrated with a stock picture of Some Random Volcano) as calling this eruption ‘the greatest volcano eruption registered in the Kuril Islands’.

UPDATE: Following some incoming links back to their sources I found my way to this Japanese page which has many photographs of Sarychev Peak from 2007 and 2008. The Sarychev Peak page, part of the website of AIST (the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), comes under a survey of the Kuril Islands volcanoes.

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

News
B.C. flights cancelled as Russian volcano erupts – Canada.com, 15 June 2009
Volcanic eruption delays, cancels Vancouver-Asia flightsThe Vancouver Sun, 15 June 2009
Ash plumes from Russian volcano prompt Air Canada travel advisory – The Canadian Press, 15 June 2009
Pacific volcano blows its top, grounds flightsThe Globe and Mail, 16 June 2009
Volcano eruption at Matua Island will last through the week – Vostok Media, 16 June 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

More on the eruption of Sarychev Peak 15 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

More information is available on the ongoing eruption of the Russian volcano Sarychev Peak, which is located on Matua Island in the Kuril Islands. According to an update today from the Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT), the organization which keeps an eye on the Kuril volcanoes, the eruption which began on Friday 12 June 2009, is an event of significant magnitude:

REPORT ABOUT AN ERUPTION IN THE KURIL ISLANDS

June 15, 2009

SARYCHEV VOLCANO

(Matua island, Central Kuril Islands), CAVW# -0900-24
Coordinates: Lat 48o06′N, Long 153o12′ E
The last eruption :1976
Elevation: 1446 m (4744 F)
AVIATION COLOR CODE: RED

The eruption of the volcano continues

According to data of MTSAT 0906141930 UTC the great volcanic explosion occurred. The suggested height of ash plume is up to 8 km.

According to MODIS 0906150007 UTC all ash cloud are seen on the south-east and north-west. whole length is more than 600 km.

A volcanic ash advisory from Tokyo VAAC timed at 06:15 GMT today reports observations of an ash cloud at FL450 (45000 feet a.s.l., which is about 13700 metres). An earlier report (00:05 GMT today) reported ash at FL540 (54000 feet a.s.l., about 16450 metres). A SVERT report from 14 June referred to an ash plume ‘about 12 km above sea level’ following a ‘large explosion’ at the volcano. Ash emissions at this height over the North Pacific have potential to disrupt air traffic. Information can be hard to come by, however, as SVERT is not a 24-hour operation and volcanoes in this area, including Sarychev Peak, are not directly monitored through instruments.

The MODVOLCS thermal alerts monitoring website run by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology shows significant thermal anomalies at Sarychev Peak over the last few days, with hot ash present in the plume and extensive lava flows:

MODIS hotspots for Sarychev Peak, 11-14 June 2009 (Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology)
Above: Montage of MODIS images of thermal anomalies at Sarychev Peak, 11-14 June 2009 (Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology).

More updates on Sarychev Peak as information comes in, and there’s more coverage at Eruptions as well. The Volcanism Blog’s Russian-language department is currently on holiday: we’ll check out any Russian media reports on this eruption as soon as she gets back.

[Thanks to Fabrice Digonnet of Activolcans for very helpful updates on the Sarychev eruption.]

News
Volcanic eruption creates giant cloud threatening planesTelegraph, 14 June 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

Eruption at Sarychev Peak 14 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

A quick update on reports of activity at Sarychev Peak, which is a remote volcano in the (Russian) central Kuril Islands. It is a highly active volcano: the most recent eruption, which appears to have been relatively minor, was in January 1989, while the most recent significant eruption appears to be that of September-October 1976. There was a very large VEI=4 explosive eruption in November 1946.

Well, it appears that the volcano is erupting again, and the NASA Earth Observatory has two dramatic satellite pictures acquired on 12 and 13 June 2009 showing a high-altitude plume with considerable ash content. I hope we’ll have more information about this obscure volcano and its current activity later.

[Thanks to Boris Behncke for passing on the news about Sarychev Peak.]

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)

The Volcanism Blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 122 other followers