Elevated volcanic activity observed at Karymsky, Russia

Elevated volcanic activity observed at Karymsky, Russia

Karymsky volcano, Kamchatka is showing signs of elevated activity. Several explosions over the last couple of days have sent ash plumes rising to 5.5 km (18 000 feet) above the crater, the Tokyo VAAC reported.

Karymsky volcano is one of the few continually active volcanoes in the world for several centuries. Its usually moderate explosive activity seems to be elevated at the moment. The Aviation Color Code remains orange.

In the period between December 25, 2015, and January 1, 2016, moderate explosive activity at the volcano was still regular, KVERT reported. Satellite images detected an ash cloud, 56 km (34.8 miles) long and 6 km (3.7 miles) wide, drifting 145 km (90 miles) ENE. The orange aviation alert was steadily in place.

Karymsky volcano eruption, Kamchatka, August 4, 2010. Image credit: Russell Neches (Flickr-CC)

On January 7, KVERT reported moderate eruptive activity of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 6 km (19 700 feet) above the summit level could occur at any time, and the ongoing activity could affect low-flying aircraft in the area.

Satellite data showed a thermal anomaly over the volcano during January 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 while ash plumes extended for about 200 km (124.3 miles) to the eastern direction of the volcano on January 3, 5 and 6. During other days of the week, the volcano was quiet or obscured by clouds.

Geological Summary

Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south.

The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Featured image: Karymsky volcano eruption, Kamchatka, August 4, 2010. Image credit: Russell Neches (Flickr-CC)

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