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Report on Chikurachki (Russia) — 20 February-26 February 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 February-26 February 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Chikurachki (Russia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 February-26 February 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (20 February-26 February 2002)


Chikurachki

Russia

50.324°N, 155.461°E; summit elev. 1781 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


According to reports KVERT received from the town of Severo-Kurilsk (~70 km NE of the volcano), volcanism that began at Chikurachki on 25 January had decreased by 20 February. Visual observations from a helicopter on 18 February revealed that a small new crater had formed in the SSE part of the volcano's summit crater. A gas-and-steam plume was visible rising 150 m above the crater and extending to the ESE. A stripe of fresh ash was visible on the volcano's E slope. No thermal anomaly or ash plume was visible on satellite imagery. KVERT reported that the possibility of ash explosions occurring remained. According to the Tokyo VAAC, possible eruptions on 21 February at 0325 and 24 February at 1232 may have produced ash clouds that rose to ~6 and 5.8 km, respectively.

Geologic Background. Chikurachki, the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuriles, is actually a relatively small cone constructed on a high Pleistocene volcanic edifice. Oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone give it a distinctive red color. Frequent basaltic plinian eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. Lava flows from 1781-m-high Chikurachki reached the sea and form capes on the NW coast; several young lava flows also emerge from beneath the scoria blanket on the eastern flank. The Tatarinov group of six volcanic centers is located immediately to the south of Chikurachki, and the Lomonosov cinder cone group, the source of an early Holocene lava flow that reached the saddle between it and Fuss Peak to the west, lies at the southern end of the N-S-trending Chikurachki-Tatarinov complex. In contrast to the frequently active Chikurachki, the Tatarinov volcanoes are extensively modified by erosion and have a more complex structure. Tephrochronology gives evidence of only one eruption in historical time from Tatarinov, although its southern cone contains a sulfur-encrusted crater with fumaroles that were active along the margin of a crater lake until 1959.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)