Massive eruption at Raikoke volcano, ash to 13.1 km (43 000 feet) a.s.l., Sea of Okhotsk


A sudden, high-level eruption started at Raikoke volcano, Sea of Okhotsk, Kuril Islands, Russia at around 17:50 UTC on June 21, 2019. The last time this volcano erupted was back in 1924 (VEI 4).

According to the Tokyo VAAC, volcanic ash cloud rose up to 13.1 km (43 000 feet) above sea level by 21:40 UTC. 

YouTube video

YouTube video

Volcanic ash emissions continued into June 22 and were still being detected at 06:00 UTC.

The last time this volcano erupted was on February 15, 1924 (VEI 4). Two previous eruptions took place in 1778 (VEI 4) and 1765± 5 years (VEI 2). 

Geological summary

A low truncated volcano forms the small barren Raikoke Island, which lies 16 km across the Golovnin Strait from Matua Island in the central Kuriles.

The oval-shaped basaltic island is only 2 x 2.5 km (1.2 x 1.5 miles) wide and rises above a submarine terrace.

The steep-walled crater, highest on the SE side, is 700 m (2 300 feet) wide and 200 m (656 feet) deep. Lava flows mantle the eastern side of the island.

A catastrophic eruption in 1778, during which the upper third of the island was said to have been destroyed, prompted the first volcanological investigation in the Kuril Islands two years later.

Reports of eruptions in 1777 and 1780 are erroneous (Gorshkov, 1970).

Another powerful eruption in 1924 greatly deepened the crater and changed the outline of the island. (GVP)

Featured image: Ash rising above Raikoke volcano on June 22, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW

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One Comment

  1. You would think there would be more talk
    of the big West Japan quake, reported online, but no news,
    a few days ago? And this Volcano related by connection on the West
    Pacific Subduction zones?

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