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Shiveluch quieter, but activity continues 12 September 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Kamchatka, Russia, Shiveluch.
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Kamchatkan volcano Shiveluch has calmed down again after its latest burst of activity on 10-11 September. The Kamchatka Volcanoes Emergency Response Team (KVERT) have lowered the alert status from red to orange, and the latest volcanic ash advisory from Tokyo reports no emissions. However, the most recent KVERT bulletin, issued at 21:50 UTC on 11 September (archived here), makes it clear that activity at the volcano continues:

Activity of the volcano continues: a new viscous lava flow effuses at the lava dome. Ash explosions > 10 km (> 32,800 ft) ASL could occur at any time. The activity of the volcano could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

Seismic activity of the volcano decreased: only three explosive events occurred from 02:15 till 15:46 UTC on September 11. According to an interpretation of seismic signals, ash plumes rose up to 4.5-6.5 km (14,800-21,300 ft) ASL. No visual data about this events – the volcano obscures by clouds. According to satellite data, a thermal anomaly over the lava dome was registering on September 10-11.

The precise nature of this recent activity is unclear, but the reference to a ‘new viscous lava flow’ and the large explosions and ash plumes and reports of pyroclastic flows and ‘hot avalanches’ suggest a (partial?) dome collapse event. Until the weather clears and some visual data comes in (the Shiveluch webcam currently shows nothing but cloud) it’s impossible to be sure – and in any case, this phase of activity may not yet be over. Shiveluch is unusually active even for Kamchatka.

Global Volcanism Program: Shiveluch – summary information for Shiveluch (1000-27=)
KVERT: Sheveluch volcano – KVERT (Kamchatka Volcanoes Emergency Response Team) profile for Shiveluch
KVERT: information releases – current activity summary for Kamchatka volcanoes
Alaska Volcano Observatory – Activity – includes AVO reports on Kamchatka volcanoes
Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team – KVERT information page from the AVO

The Volcanism Blog