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Sarychev Peak plume disrupts air traffic 16 June 2009

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

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

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


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