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More on the eruption of Sarychev Peak 15 June 2009

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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

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Eruption at Sarychev Peak 14 June 2009

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

Shiveluch image from the NASA Earth Observatory 14 May 2009

Posted by admin in Kamchatka, NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Shiveluch.
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Shiveluch volcano, 10 May 2009 (NASA Terra image)

The NASA Earth Observatory has published a lovely image today of the Kamchatkan volcano Shiveluch erupting, captured on 10 May 2009 the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The white colour of the northward-directed plume shows that it is predominantly steam, while brown ash deposits from previous eruptions blanket the snow around the volcano’s summit. Shiveluch is one of the most frequently active Kamchatka volcanoes.

NASA Earth Observatory: Plume from Shiveluch volcano (14 May 2009).

[NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. That’s a lot of abbreviations, even for a NASA image credit.]

Lots of volcano-related Earth Observatory images here: NASA Earth Observatory « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog

Shiveluch activity continues 28 April 2009

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Plume from Shiveluch volcano, 26 April 2009 (NASA MODIS/Terra image)

Shiveluch volcano in Kamchatka is continuing to erupt, producing a 7-kilometre ash plume according to this interestingly-phrased report from Russia Info-Centre. The latest bulletin from KVERT (issued 04:25 UTC today) reports ash plumes extending 250 kilometres NE of the volcano and reaching 5 kilometres altitude, and seismicity consisting of weak volcanic tremor and occasional shallow earthquakes. Ash explosions to above 10 kilometres, warns KVERT, could occur at any time.

The image above is from the NASA Earth Observatory, and shows the plume from Shiveluch on 26 April 2009, blowing SE towards the Bering Sea. This is a MODIS image from NASA’s Terra satellite.

A Russian-language report today from RIA-Novosti, which does not appear to be available in English, says that a new 30-metre-deep fissure has formed on the Molody Shiveluch (‘Young Shiveluch’) lava dome which is the focus of the current activity. The report quotes Alexei Ozerov of the Institute of Volcanology: ‘This fissure was formed over the last two days, and crosses the body of the volcanic dome in a south-easterly direction. It is continuously producing hot debris avalanches’. One pyroclastic flow may have destroyed a road and bridge on the Bekesh river, although the precise location is unclear. The report also notes that Koryaksky and Kliuchevskoi volcanoes in Kamchatka are also currently active, and that there is increased seismic activity at Gorely, which last erupted in 1986. This level of activity, however, is nothing unusual for Kamchatka.

This Shiveluch webcam enables you to peer through the trees at the volcano.

Thanks to AS for her translations from the Russian.

News
Kamchatka volcano Shiveluch emissed a 7-km column of ash – Russia-InfoCentre, 27 April 2009
Купол вулкана Шивелуч на Камчатке прорезала глубокая расщелина – RIA Novosti, 28 April 2009

Information
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

Shiveluch activity report: colour code Red 27 April 2009

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Ash explosions at Molody Shiveluch lava dome, Shiveluch volcano, Kamchatka, 27 April 2009 (photograph Yu. Demyanchuk, courtesy KVERT)
Ash explosions at Molody Shiveluch lava dome, Shiveluch volcano, Kamchatka, 27 April 2009 (photograph Yu. Demyanchuk, courtesy KVERT). [source]

The Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) have issued an information release (27 April, 01:05 UTC) for Shiveluch volcano in northern Kamchatka, reporting that seismic activity at the volcano has slightly decreased, with continuous tremor becoming intermittent and the number of weak shallow earthquakes declining, but the ‘danger of a strong explosive eruption’ remains, with explosive eruption of ash to 10 kilometers a.s.l. possible at any time. The current level of concern colour code for Shiveluch is given as Red.

Tokyo VAAC has a volcanic ash advisory notice for Shiveluch issued at 06:08 UTC reporting a possible eruption observed at 01:59 UTC, with ash at FL140 (14000 feet, 4300 metres).

Information
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

Webcam at Koryaksky volcano 14 January 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Kamchatka, Koryaksky, Russia, volcano monitoring.
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Images from a video camera monitoring Koryaksky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia are available via the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) website. Click on the link below to access the Koryaksky webcam page.

Koryaksky volcano webcam (KVERT)

The latest updates for Koryaksky report that strong fumarolic activity continues, and ash explosions up to 6km above sea level are possible. Seismicity at the volcano remains at background levels. Recent images of Koryaksky can be found on this page of the KVERT website.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Koryaksky – information about Koryaksky (1000-09=)
KVERT: current volcanic activity – current activity for the Kamchatkan volcanoes (English)
Current activity of Koryaksky volcano – current status of Koryaksky and many images (Russian and English)

The Volcanism Blog

Koryaksky causing alarm 29 December 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Kamchatka, Koryaksky, Russia.
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Koryaksky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has been showing signs of heightened activity recently, as we reported here at The Volcanism Blog on 26 December. Now comes news that Petropavlovsk-Kamchatky Airport has been closed to flights and that the Russian volcanological authorities are warning of a possible explosive eruption. A report from RIA-Novosti quotes Alexei Ozerov of the Volcanology and Seismology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

‘Compared to the eruption of 1956 – the only one to have been observed in this volcano’s history – the eruption under way now began much more rapidly and powerfully … the authorities in the province and the city of Petropavlovsk must be prepared for more powerful eruptions and take steps to monitor the volcano and aviation safety.’

The same report indicates that the reason for the heightened alert is a new vent about 3.1-3.3 kilometres above sea level (Koryaksky’s summit elevation is 3.456 km), at a point where fumarolic activity has been observed over a long period. The current alert level is given by KVERT as orange, which is the second-highest level, and the most recent KVERT bulletin on Koryaksky reports a moderate explosive eruption, ash plumes rising to 4.0km, no seismic data ‘for technical reasons’, and expects the activity of the volcano to increase.

Russian news reports speak of a volcanic ash hazard for aircraft: a local news report today says that dark ash emissions are rising to 4.0km above sea level. The Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center has no current ash alerts for Koryaksky, but ash at low altitudes could well be dangerous for the operation of airports in the vicinity of the volcano, hence the closure.

With neigbouring Avachinsky, Koryaksky has been designated a Decade Volcano because of its history of explosive eruptions and its proximity to populated areas.

[N.B. You’ll also see this volcano called Koryak. The cataloguers at the Global Volcanism Program call it Koryaksky, and as with other volcanoes it’s the GVP nomenclature that is used on this blog.]

Thanks to AS for her translations from the Russian.

News
Eruption of Koryak volcano might be dangerous – Russia InfoCentre, 29 December 2008
Fears of explosive volcano eruption closes Kamchatka airportAviation Herald, 28 December 2008
Извержение Корякского вулкана может усилиться – RIA Novosti, 28 December 2008 (Russian)
На Камчатке активность вулкана Корякский представляет опасность для местной авиации – Regions.ru, 29 December 2008 (Russian)

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Koryaksky – information about Koryaksky (1000-09=)
KVERT: current volcanic activity – current activity for the Kamchatkan volcanoes (English)
Current activity of Koryaksky volcano – current status of Koryaksky and many images (Russian and English)

The Volcanism Blog

Shiveluch rumbles on 6 November 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Kamchatka, Russia, Shiveluch.
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A report from RIA-Novosti in Russia says that 170 tremors have been recorded over the last 24 hours at the Kamchatkan volcano Shiveluch, and that the volcano is erupting ash to an altitude of 4000m. According to this report the ash emission is ‘causing problems for air traffic’. The latest reports from Tokyo VAAC, however, indicate that although the eruption has been observed no significant ash cloud has been reported or is expected, and no warnings have been issued.

Shiveluch is a highly active volcano, ‘the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc’, says the summary page at the Global Volcanism Program.

News
Volcano spews ash 4,000 meters in Russia’s far east – RIA-Novosti, 6 November 2008

Information
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

Eruption at Kliuchevskoi, Kamchatka 17 October 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Kamchatka, Kliuchevskoi, Russia.
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Kliuchevskoi volcano

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported yesterday that Kliuchevskoi, the tallest (4385m) and arguably the most beautiful of the Kamchatka volcanoes, has erupted. The most recent bulletin from the Kamchatkan Volcano Event Response Team (KVERT) characterizes the current eruption as ‘weak strombolian activity’, and warns that the activity may intensify – a point also made by Alexei Ozerov, the Russian scientist quoted in the Novosti report. Ozerov warns that increased luminescence at the summit indicates the emergence of fresh lava, and that lava flows could trigger lahars and pose a threat to surrounding villages. The possibility of erupted ash interfering with air traffic is also mentioned, although as there are no current volcanic ash advisories for Kliuchevskoi at either Tokyo or Anchorage VAACs it seems that there is no significant eruption cloud as yet.

Over the last month or so, fumarolic activity and elevated seismicity have indicated that a significant eruption was to be expected. Kliuchevskoi is one of the youngest and most active Kamchatkan volcanoes: the Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program lists nine significant eruptions over the last decade.

[N.B. You’ll also see this volcano called Klyuchevskoy. The cataloguers at the Global Volcanism Program call it Kliuchevskoi, and as with other volcanoes it’s the GVP nomenclature that is used on this blog.]

News
Russia’s tallest volcano erupts in Far East – RIA Novosti, 16 October 2008
Klyuchevskoy’s new eruption – Eruptions, 16 October 2008

Information
Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program – summary information for Kliuchevskoi (1000-26=)
Current Activity of Klyuchevskoy Volcano – KVERT information page for Kliuchevskoi (many images)
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

Russian and US scientists join forces to study Bezymianny 26 June 2008

Posted by admin in Bezymianny, Kamchatka, natural hazards, Russia, volcano monitoring.
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From Russia comes news that Russian and US volcanologists are to join forces to study Bezymianny, one of the many active volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The principal hazard posed by eruptive activity at Bezymianny is to aviation. KVERT, the organization that monitors the Kamchatka volcanoes, summarizes its hazards thus:

Moderate potential hazards are caused by ash plumes, ash falls, pyroclastic flows, hot avalanches and lahars. The volcano constitutes a potential hazard to international and local airlines at Kamchatka because its eruptive clouds can rise to a height of 8-15 km ASL and extend for hundreds of kilometers from the volcano to different directions.

In a project lasting several years, the Russian/US team will be installing modern seismic and other monitoring networks and probing the volcano’s eruptive processes. The project involves scientists from the Russian Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Bezymianny was thought to be extinct until a violent eruption in 1955-6 proved otherwise. On 30 March 1956 an explosive eruption notably similar to that of Mount St Helens in 1980 took place: the upper 180m of the volcano was blown apart, leaving a crater 1.5km in width and projecting an eruption cloud to the east to a height of 40km, at an angle of between 30 and 40 degrees to the horizon. Trees were felled by the directed blast for 24km, and mudflows choked the Kamchatka River. Since then there has been lava-dome growth at Bezymianny, with intermittent explosive eruptions once or twice each year. The RIA-Novosti news agency observes that the 1955-6 eruption of Bezymianny had a profound impact on volcano awareness in the USSR (as it then was), and resulted in the establishment of permanent volcano monitoring stations and the institution of a Soviet Day of Volcanology on 30 March each year.*

[* Thanks to AS for her Russian translations.]

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Bezymianny – summary information for Bezymianny (1000-25=)
Bezymianny volcano – information from KVERT

News
Most dangerous volcano of Kamchatka to be studied – Russia-InfoCentre, 26 June 2008
Вулканологи исследуют самый опасный вулкан Камчатки – RIA-Novosti, 24 June 2008 (Russian)*

The Volcanism Blog