Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — 24 July-30 July 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 July-30 July 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 July-30 July 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 19-26 July, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. Individual earthquakes up to M 1.9, as well as a number of smaller earthquakes at depths of 0-6 km, were recorded. Other local seismic signals indicated that possible weak, ash-poor explosions rose to 1 km above the dome. Avalanches were also registered. Gas-and-steam emissions, some possibly including small amounts of fine ash, rose to ~1.5 km above the lava dome. A small, likely ash-rich plume was visible on AVHRR satellite imagery on 22 July at 1804. The plume appeared to be centered over the volcano's summit at a height of about 5.3 km. On 29 July at 2000 the intensity of volcanic tremor increased noticeably in comparison with the previous few days. On 30 July at 0946 a short-lived explosion produced a plume to a height of ~3 km above the dome. KVERT raised the Concern Color Code from Yellow ("volcano is restless") to Orange ("explosive eruption is possible within a few days and may occur with little or no warning").
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.