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Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — March 2010

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 35, no. 3 (March 2010)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Sheveluch (Russia) Near-constant dome growth during May 2008 through March 2010

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 35:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201003-300270.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Sheveluch

Russia

56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcanism at Shiveluch that has been almost continuous since 1980 remained so from May 2008 through March 2010. During that time the lava dome was active and frequently growing, and produced moderate and weak explosions (figure 18). The most active phases took place during July-October 2008, March-April 2009, and November-December 2009 (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. (top) A panoramic view Shiveluch looking N on 27 August 2009. The "Young Shiveluch" lava dome is degassing. (bottom) A photo taken at night on 15 September 2009 from the same perspective as the photo on left, showing lava traveling down the dome's S flank. Both photos taken from Kliuchi by Yuri Demyanchuk, IVS RAS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Plots for Shiveluch indicating the number the thermal anomaly pixels from satellite observations (top plot) and numbers of earthquakes originating in or adjacent to the dome (lower plot) during May 2008 to March 2010. The arrows show the observed explosions during good visibility. The ash cloud icons indicate the most significance events (ash plumes extending more then 50 km based on satellite images). Data from KB GS RAS.

During the two years discussed, there were many short-lived ash plumes (1-3 km above the dome), ash clouds produced by rockfalls and avalanches, and strong explosions that generated long-distance plumes (those with 'ash cloud' symbols above the arrows, figure 19). The large explosive eruptions of 26 April and 23 June 2009 sent respective ash plumes to 510 km and 754 km distances (table 8). The day after the earlier event, there was clear visibility on 27 April (figure 20).

Table 8. Significant explosions and ash plumes recorded at Shiveluch from May 2008 to March 2010. Plumes lower than ~1.2 km above the dome and seen for less than 10 km from the vent were omitted. Data courtesy of KVERT.

Date Plume altitude (m) Plume extension (km)
14 May 2008 5800 --
20 May 2008 5500 --
27 May 2008 3600 --
25 Jun 2008 4200 --
13 Sep 2008 6500 100 km NE
28 Sep 2008 5000 --
01 Oct 2008 -- 70 km S, W
14 Oct 2008 6000 --
16 Oct 2008 4500 --
19 Oct 2008 -- 30 km E
20 Oct 2008 -- 62 km E
05-06 Nov 2008 4000 --
04 Dec 2008 -- 25 km NE
17 Jan 2009 -- 10 km E
20 Jan 2009 4500 --
25 Feb 2009 5500 --
04 Mar 2009 4700 --
10 Mar 2009 6000 --
24 Mar 2009 7500 --
27-29 Mar 2009 -- 10 km SE
04 Apr 2009 4500 --
05 Apr 2009 -- 10 km E
15, 22 Apr 2009 4000 --
25 Apr 2009 6700 50 km SE
26 Apr 2009 5000 510 km SE
27-29 Apr 2009 5000 107-120 km NE
13 May 2009 5000 --
22 May 2009 4000 --
10 Jun 2009 7700 --
11 Jun 2009 4500 140 km SW
13-14 Jun 2009 5500-6100 --
18 Jun 2009 5700 --
20 Jun 2009 5000 --
23 Jun 2009 -- 754 km S
24 Jun 2009 -- 28 km NW
25 Jun 2009 -- 95 km
03 Jul 2009 -- 20 km SE
18 Jul 2009 -- 34 km E
24 Jul 2009 5000 --
27 Jul 2009 5000 10 km E
02 Aug 2009 -- 23 km E
15 Aug 2009 4500 --
31 Aug 2009 -- 107 km E
02 Sep 2009 -- 20 km S
11 Sep 2009 15000 --
18-19 Sep 2009 5000-5500 --
20 Sep 2009 -- 30 km NW
22 Sep 2009 4500 70 km SW
29 Sep 2009 -- 45 km E
02-03 Oct 2009 -- 30-60 km SE
30 Oct 2009 -- 255 km E
04-05 Nov 2009 4200-4500 --
10 Mar 2010 5500 --
11 Mar 2010 -- 10 km E
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Strong explosion on 26 April 2009 at Shiveluch produced a pyroclastic flow on the S slope and a resulting ash plume that extended 120 km to the NE. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk, IVS RAS.

KVERT noted that on 11 September 2009 there were strong explosions. Based on interpretations of seismic data, the inferred ash plumes that day rose to an altitude greater than 15 km above sea level. The seismic network then detected 8 minutes of signals interpreted as pyroclastic flows from the lava dome; resulting plumes rose to an altitude of ~ 15 km. Cloud cover prevented visual observations. Ten more events characterized as ash explosions and either pyroclastic flows or avalanches were detected. Seismicity then decreased during 11-12 September. A visit during clear visibility on 13 September revealed fresh pyroclastic-flow deposits (figure 21).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. The light area on this 13 September 2009 photo represents fresh pyroclastic-flow deposits on Shiveluch. The deposits covered the apron and extended 5 km S. Dotted-line indicates the approximate profile of the lava dome of Young Shiveluch. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk, IVS RAS.

Seismicity. Extended intervals of low-level seismicity were detected at the dome in May and June 2008, during May to October 2009, and to some extent from January through March 2010 (figure 19, bottom). A plot of regional seismicity during December 2009-5 April 2010 in a 70-km-diameter circle around Shiveluch (figure 22) indicates SW-dipping epicenters that rise to shallow depths under Shiveluch (and similarly for other volcanoes in the Kliuchevskoi group).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Regional seismicity recorded during 19 December 2009 to 4 April 2010, presented in three panels. (a) A map of the region showing location and depths of earthquakes (white line is trace of cross-section AB), and the 70-km-diameter circle enclosing Shiveluch with epicenters of earthquakes plotted in (c). (b) Earthquakes projected onto the vertical plane of cross section AB. (c) Histogram showing Shiveluch's daily earthquakes with respect to time (bar height shows class (Ks) from seismic amplitude, after S.A. Fedotov), ascending curve is the cumulative number of earthquakes. Courtesy of KB GS RAS.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 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 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.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IV&S) Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences (FED RAS), Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS), Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs, http://www.emsd.ru/~ssl/monitoring/main.htm); Yuri Demyanchuk, IV&S FED RAS; Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.