Eruption at Bezymianny volcano, Aviation Color Code raised to Orange, Russia

bezymianny volcano may 24 2022

A new eruption took place at Bezymianny volcano in Russia at 20:34 UTC on May 23, 2022. According to the Tokyo VAAC, ash is rising up to 5.2 km (17 000 feet) above sea level, drifting NW.

As a result, KVERT raised the Aviation Color Code from Yellow to Orange.

Strong fumarole activity, incandescence at the lava dome, and hot avalanches on the eastern flank of the lava dome accompany extrusive-effusive eruption, KVERT said, adding that a gas-steam plume with some amount of ash is extending 30 km (18 miles) NW of the volcano.1

They warned aerosol clouds and ash plumes from hot avalanches could occur at any time, potentially affecting low-flying aircraft.

Ash emissions continued into May 24.

bezymianny volcano may 24 2022
Bezymianny volcano on May 24, 2022. Credit: KB GS RAS

Activity at the volcano increased on March 14, with new viscous lava flowing out of the dome.2

A gas-steam plume with some amount of ash extended about 90 km (55 miles) to the W of the volcano at 22:00 UTC. By 04:20 UTC on March 15, the cloud was extending about 120 km (75 miles) W of the volcano.

Bezymianny volcano eruption on March 15, 2022. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, Pierre Markuse
Bezymianny volcano eruption on March 15, 2022. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, Pierre Markuse

Geological summary

Prior to its noted 1955 – 56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4 700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11 000 – 7 000 years ago.

Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3 000 years.

The latest period, which was preceded by a 1 000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955/56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by the collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast.

Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.3

References:

1 VONA/KVERT Information Release, May 23, 2022. KVERT, Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS

2 Explosive eruption at Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka, Russia – The Watchers – March 15, 2022

3 Bezymianny – Geological summary – GVP

Featured image credit: KB BS RAS

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