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Sarychev Peak before the 2009 eruption: pictures 17 June 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Russia, Sarychev Peak.
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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

Comments

1. Jody Bourgeois, University of Washington - 18 June 2009

These pictures of the volcano were taken on an expedition of the Kuril Biocomplexity Project
http://depts.washington.edu/ikip/index.shtml
In this study, an interdisciplinary team of American, Japanese and Russian scholars and students are examining a 5000-year history of human-environmental interactions along the Kuril Island chain in the northwest Pacific.

Scientists from the Kuril Biocomplexity Project visited Matua in the summers of 2006, 2007, 2008. Participation in the Kuril Biocomplexity Project was made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (ARC-0508109; Ben Fitzhugh, PI) and various logistical and financial support from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; the Hokkaido University Museum (Sapporo, Japan); the Historical Museum of Hokkaido (Sapporo, Japan); the Sakhalin Regional Museum (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia), and the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMGG: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, IVGG: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, NEISRI:Magadan).

Sarychev is a very active volcano, last erupting in 1989 [small], VEI 2 in 1976, 1965 and 1954; VEI 3 in 1960, and generating a thick layer of cinders in 1946 [VEI 4] which buried much of the remains of Japanese military occupation during WWII. There is an abandoned Russian village, Sarychevo. No one lives on Matua, but it is visited by afficianados of WWII sites.

We have no plan to return this summer, though we hear there may be a Russian-led volcanological expedition later this summer. Currently there is a group surveying marine mammals in the area, we hope they will get information about how the eruption affects the local biota.

This island was hit hard by a tsunami in December 2006. We have before and after observations from that event
[MacInnes et al., 2009 Pure and Applied Geophysics; and MacInnes et al., in press, Geology]. We are studing the pre-historic tsunami record and perforce then are also documenting the pre-historic record of volcanic eruptions. Without going into details, suffice to say that our excavations are full of volcanic cinders. We’ll have to wait and see what deposit this current eruption leaves on Matua and neighboring islands!

We plan soon to post more pictures of the pre-eruptive state of Matua and Sarychev.

2. volcanism - 18 June 2009

Many thanks for that very informative update, Prof. Bourgeois. Looking forward to hearing more from the Kuril project in the future.


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