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Sarychev pumps out the SO2 18 June 2009

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

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


1. Bruce - 18 June 2009

Thanks for all the updates! I have been searching the internet (to no avail) to find out about the local population (was there one even?) of the island. It looks to me like this eruption is comparable to Kasatochi last year, or even bigger. I wouldn’t have wanted to be too close to it. I just hope the inhabitants had enough forewarning (and sense) to get to a neighboring island first.

2. volcanism - 18 June 2009

There is no permanent population on Matua Island. It wasn’t always so: there is an abandoned airfield on Matua (originally Japanese, later Soviet). The Central Kurils are not heavily populated by any standards.

3. Bruce - 18 June 2009

That’s a relief. I thought there might have been a remnant population of Ainu on it.

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