Report on Bezymianny (Russia) — 14 December-20 December 2016

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Bezymianny (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

KVERT reported that lava-dome extrusion likely continued at Bezymianny during 14-16 December. A gas-and-steam plume containing a small amount of ash drifted about 118 km W on 15 December. The Tokyo VAAC noted that ash plumes rose as high as 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. that same day. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geologic Background. 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 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-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 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.

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