Major eruption at Zhupanovsky, ash up to 10 km (33 000 feet) a.s.l.

Major eruption at Zhupanovsky, ash up to 10 km (33 000 feet) a.s.l.

A major eruption took place at Zhupanovsky volcano, Kamchatka, Russia at 02:30 UTC on November 20, 2016. Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange.

At 02:39 UTC today, KVERT reported that a major eruption took place at Zhupanovsky volcano with ash plume, according to video data, observed up to 7 - 8 km (23 000 - 26 000 feet) above sea level. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft, it warned.

At 02:59 UTC, the ash plume was extending 73 km (45.3 miles) to the east of the volcano, KVERT said.

According to VA Advisory issued by the Tokyo VAAC at 03:46 UTC, the ash plume was reaching 10 km (33 000 feet) a.s.l. and moving ESE at a speed of 55.5 km/h (34.5 mph).

The Tokyo VAAC transferred the responsibility of this event to Anchorage VAAC, who noted at 06:02 UTC that there was a strong signal in satellite imagery associated with a fast-moving volcanic ash plume.

Major eruption at Zhupanovsky, Anchorage VAAC graphic

Image credit: Anchorage VAAC

The last time this volcano erupted was on March 24, 2016. The last thermal anomaly detection in a satellite image was on April 1.

The Aviation Color Code for Zhupanovsky was lowered to Green on June 16.

Geological summary

The Zhupanovsky volcanic massif consists of four overlapping stratovolcanoes along a WNW-trending ridge. The elongated volcanic complex was constructed within a Pliocene-early Pleistocene caldera whose rim is exposed only on the eastern side. Three of the stratovolcanoes were built during the Pleistocene, the fourth is Holocene in age and was the source of all of Zhupanovsky's historical eruptions.

An early Holocene stage of frequent moderate and weak eruptions from 7000 to 5000 years before present (BP) was succeeded by a period of infrequent larger eruptions that produced pyroclastic flows. The last major eruption took place about 800-900 years BP. Historical eruptions have consisted of relatively minor explosions from the third cone. (GVP)

Featured image: Explosive activity at Zhupanovsky at 00:15 UTC on November 28, 2014. Image courtesy A. Sokorenko, IVS FEB RAS

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