Strong explosive eruption at Sheveluch volcano, ash to 10 km (33 000 feet) a.s.l., Russia

Strong explosive eruption at Sheveluch volcano, ash to 10 km (33 000 feet) a.s.l., Russia

A strong explosive eruption took place at Sheveluch volcano, Kamchatka, Russia at 19:10 UTC on April 8, 2020.

According to the Tokyo VAAC, volcanic ash column rose up to 10 km (33 000 feet) above sea level by 21:20 UTC, drifting SSE.

Satellite data by KVERT showed an ash cloud was about 230 km (143 miles) SE of the volcano at 03:50 UTC.

"Explosive-extrusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 10 - 15 km (32 800 - 49 200 feet) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft," KVERT said in its latest VONA, released 04:12 UTC.

Geological summary

The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1 300 km3 (311.9 mi3) volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65 000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide (5.6 miles) late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. 

The Molodoy Shiveluch lava-dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc.

Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera. (GVP)

Featured image: Sheveluch erupting on April 8, 2020. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

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