Moyorodake [Medvezhia]

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 45.389°N
  • 148.838°E

  • 1124 m
    3687 ft

  • 290100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

9 January-15 January 2013

SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly was detected over Kudriavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, on 11 January. Strong steam-and-gas plumes were also observed.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)

Index of Weekly Reports

2013: January

Weekly Reports

9 January-15 January 2013

SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly was detected over Kudriavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, on 11 January. Strong steam-and-gas plumes were also observed.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

12/1981 (SEAN 06:12) Intense fumarolic activity from the Kudriavy cone

04/1987 (SEAN 12:04) Intense fumarolic activity

03/1989 (SEAN 14:03) Gas emissions from Kudriavy cone rise 300-400 m

12/1992 (BGVN 17:12) Intense fumarolic activity

08/1995 (BGVN 20:10) Measurements of SO2 in Kudriavy plume

10/1999 (BGVN 24:10) Small phreatic eruption from the Kudriavy summit forms a new crater

Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC + 11 hours)

12/1981 (SEAN 06:12) Intense fumarolic activity from the Kudriavy cone

The 20 September 1981 aerial inspection [of the volcanoes in the S and central Kuril Islands] revealed intense fumarolic activity at five sites in Kudriavy crater.

Information Contact: G. Steinberg, Sakhalin Complex Institute.

04/1987 (SEAN 12:04) Intense fumarolic activity

Intense activity from a few groups of fumaroles in Kudriavy's summit crater was occurring during a 6 November aerial survey. Sulfur deposits were noted around the fumaroles. East of the crater, on the outer dome slope, very intense gas emission (more active than in the crater) was observed.

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg and B. Piskunov, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

03/1989 (SEAN 14:03) Gas emissions from Kudriavy cone rise 300-400 m

During a 14 January overflight, strong gas emission from Kudriavy's crater formed a cloud that reached 300-400 m above the summit. The inner part of the crater was not visible.

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

12/1992 (BGVN 17:12) Intense fumarolic activity

Fumarolic activity was intense during fieldwork in late 1992. The maximum fumarole temperature measured August-October 1992 was 910°C (figure 1), and rocks at 20-30 cm depth glowed red. CO2-rich gases were sampled in August 1990 (table 1).

Figure 1. Sketch map of the summit area of the Kudriavy cone at Medvezhia, showing fumarole temperatures and elevations of some thermal features, August-October 1992. Contour interval is 10 m. Triangles mark collection sites for gas samples. The inset map shows Iturup Island, with locations of Kudriavy, Baransky, and Ivan Grozny volcanoes, plus the NE corner of neighboring Kunashir Island. Courtesy of G. Steinberg.

Table 1. Composition of fumarole gases from Kudriavy, August 1990, without N2, O2, or Ar. Sample localities are shown on figure 1. Analyses by U.A. Taran and U.A. Ignatorich. Data courtesy of G. Steinberg.

    Sample         11     12     13     14     15     16     17

    Temp. (°C)    770    511    430    430    240    160    156
    H2O (mole %) 96.0   96.1   96.7   95.6   96.4   81.5   78.8

    Volume % of dry gas
    CO2          63.78  78.28  40.57  41.61  82.25  83.28  83.51
    H2S           6.67  11.06  27.80  28.50   5.35   8.50  10.48
    SO2          13.44   5.06   9.77   9.50   6.38   3.19   4.02
    H2            8.98   1.56   8.53   8.33   0.08   0.23   0.15
    HCl           6.52   4.00  13.11  11.30   2.52   0.06   1.17
    HF            0.40    --    0.69   0.65   0.29   0.01   0.15
    CO            0.19   0.01   0.035  0.060  0      0      0
    CH4           0      0.007  0.14   0.04   0.18   0.014  0.013

Information Contacts: G. Steinberg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

08/1995 (BGVN 20:10) Measurements of SO2 in Kudriavy plume

The Kudriavy cone at Medvezhia has been the subject of great interest since Korzhinsky and others (1994) discovered a pure rhenium sulfide mineral in its high-temperature (535°C) fumaroles. Given the concentration of Re found in gas samples (2-10 ppb), the occurrence of ReS2 or Re2S3 (exact form still uncertain) requires enrichment of Re by eight orders of magnitude. During a 21 August-5 September visit, Stan Williams, Tobias Fisher, and Russian colleagues made COSPEC measurements of SO2 flux. Gas samples were also collected from crater fumaroles.

The COSPEC was operated from the base camp (150 m elevation) 2.7 km SE of the elongate ENE-WSW summit (990 m elevation), while the wind velocity was measured at the summit using a hand-held anemometer. The first measurements were made on 28 August in vertically oriented stationary mode with the wind blowing the wide gas plume directly over the camp. Wind velocity was measured at 3 m/s and the plume was estimated to be rising only 50 m above the summit before being blown downwind. The flux was found to be 100 +- 20 metric tons/day (t/d) for the three measurements possible before the wind shifted to the SW, making any measurements essentially oblique to the plume axis, and therefore of great uncertainty. An occasional strong odor of H2S was detected at the camp during measurements.

During a crater visits on 29 and 31 August, and during a helicopter flight downwind in the plume, there was always a strong odor of H2S. Under clear skies on 31 August the wind carried the plume SW, allowing stationary mode vertical and horizontal measurements. One specific goal of the research was to quantify the output of the isolated fumarole fields with different temperatures, which was possible for part of the day. Wind velocity was measured at 3 m/s and the SO2 flux was calculated to be only 30 +- 10 t/d.

Kudriavy has been consistently degassing passively at high temperatures since at least 1961, when it was first visited by Russian scientists; annual fieldwork began in 1989. No change in activity was noted during this visit. At the low levels at which Kudriavy was found to be degassing, a realistic SO2 norm may be 75 +- 50 t/d, with the oscillations potentially reflecting meteoric conditions. These low-pressure fumaroles, some with temperatures up to 950°C, produced hissing to roaring to deafening levels of noise. There was more noise and higher flux than at Momotombo (Nicaragua), where 950°C fumaroles were studied through the early to mid-1980s by U.S. and Russian collaboration.

Reference. Korzhinsky, M.A., Tkachenko, S.I., Shmulovich, K.I., Taran, Y.A., and Steinberg, G.S., 1994, Discovery of a pure rhenium mineral at Kudriavy volcano: Nature, v. 369, p. 51-52.

Information Contacts: Stanley N. Williams and Tobias P. Fischer, Geology Dept., Arizona State University, Tempe AZ 85287, USA; Kirill I. Shmulovich and Mikhail A. Korzhinsky, Inst. of Experimental Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142432 Chernogolovka, Moscow District, Russia; Genrikh S. Steinberg, Inst. of Volcanology & Geodynamic ANSRF, 693008 Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Box 18, Russia.

10/1999 (BGVN 24:10) Small phreatic eruption from the Kudriavy summit forms a new crater

Changes in activity at the Kudriavy cone (figure 2) were detected in mid-September 1999, preceding an eruption on 7 October. Since 1989 the temperatures of sediments in the dry lakes within the crater (lakes temporarily exist after snow melting and strong rains) at a depth of 0.75 m have consistently fallen in the range of 48-82°C, with fluctuations of 3-5°C. In contrast, September 1999 measurements at the control points in the Hot Lake area showed increasing temperatures of 60-102°C. [These temperature measurements have been made 1-3 times each year.]

Figure 2. Photograph of fumarolic plumes rising from the crater of the Kudriavy cone at Medvezhia, September-October 1999. Courtesy of G.S. Steinberg.

The weather in August, September, and October was unusually dry for the region, with rain only during 24-25 September and 2-3 October. A temperature survey of two lakes was made in September. Usually, lakes exist 1-2 days after rains, but the water in Hot Lake still covered more than half the area on 4 October. Temperatures in the dry part of the lake had increased by 14-22°C. The lake water close to the hot dome was boiling and seething due to gas emissions. [The hot dome is 150-170 m in diameter, rising 60-70 m above the bottom of Hot Lake to the W and 30-40 m above the bottom of the dry lake to the S.] On 5 October the diameter of the lake was 15 m. That day two channels were excavated to allow the water to drain so that sediment temperatures could be measured. The temperature increase in this newly drained area was more than 30°C. Fumarole gas compositions during the second part of September showed increased hydrogen, oxygen, and fluorine. Sulfur ignition was seen in some locations. The number of earthquakes also increased, and although the one-channel seismic station deployed was insufficient to determine any hypocenters, the elevated seismicity was obvious. District and province authorities were warned three days before the start of the 7 October eruption that Kudriavy was unstable and could erupt soon. [On the evening of 4 October the Governor of Sakhalin and the Mayor of Kurilsk were notified that activity at Kudriavy had rapidly increased and that an eruption was expected to begin during the week of 8-15 October, with possible stronger activity later in the month.]

From the base camp, 3.5 km W from the volcano, black and gray clouds of gas and ash were observed rising above the usual fumarolic plumes at 1735 on 7 October and then extending ~10 km NW. Ejections of gas and ash occurred at intervals of 1-2 minutes. Because of the strong winds, maximum altitude of ejections was 1,100 m. The upper camp was at 940 m elevation, 30-40 m from the crater edge and 300 m from Hot Lake (figure 3). Because of strong winds, bad visibility, and the low-intensity start of the eruption, volcanic tremor and gas-and-ash ejections were not noticed in the upper camp until 10 minutes after observers in the base camp saw the plume. Night observations showed that intense ejections stopped at 0200 on 8 October. Observations through the clouds of the N part of the crater revealed "slight reddish lights - reflected light of the hot rocks and blue lights - light of the burning sulfur" that marked the edges of a crater.

Figure 3. Aerial photograph of the N part of the Kudriavy crater at Medvezhia showing the locations of the upper camp and the new explosion crater W of the hot lava dome during 7-8 October 1999. North is to the left. Courtesy of G.S. Steinberg.

No juvenile ash was identified, so the eruption was determined to be phreatic. This eruption was similar to a geyser eruption: periodic vertical ejection of the gas, ash, and steam. Ejecta didn't fall more than 30-40 m from the new crater. The surface of Hot Lake was covered by rocks with diameters of 20-30 cm, and ashfall deposits were concentrated to the NW. The volume of erupted material was nearly 40,000-45,000 m3. Areas with rhenium mineralization (see BGVN 20:10) located on the dome were not involved in the eruption or covered by eruption products. The first phase of the eruption was over on 13 October.

The eruption created a new crater in the Hot Lake area and removed part of the dome (figure 4). The crater was elliptical with dimensions of 30 x 40 m and a depth 35-40 m from the bottom of the lake and 80-110 m from the flat part of the dome (figure 5). The walls of the crater were vertical. In the lower part of the S crater wall was a 6 x 8 m cave of incandescent rocks. Based on the light intensity, the temperature was estimated to be higher than 1,000-1,100°C. Hot gas rose from this area and condensed 40-60 m above the edge of the crater. Small fiery areas and fragments with burning sulfur were seen on the S, W, and N walls. [Minor explosions continued from the cave until 13 October. Activity then declined, consisting of gas emissions with some small rock fragments that didn't reach the crater rim. No significant changes were noted through 2 November, when observations ended.]

Figure 4. Photograph of the hot dome and dry lake area in the N part of the Kudriavy crater at Medvezhia prior to the 7-8 October 1999 eruption. Courtesy of G.S. Steinberg.
Figure 5. Photograph of the 7-8 October 1999 crater adjacent to the hot dome in the N part of the Kudriavy crater at Medvezhia, October 1999. Courtesy of G.S. Steinberg.

Information Contact: Genrikh S. Steinberg, Institute of Volcanology and Geodynamics, Russian Academy of Natural Science, Box 18, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk 693008, Russia (Email:

The Moyorodake volcanic complex (also known as Medvezhia) occupies the NE end of Iturup (Etorofu) Island. Two overlapping calderas, 14 x 18 and 10 x 12 km in diameter, were formed during the Pleistocene. The caldera floor contains several lava domes, cinder cones and associated lava fields, and a small lake. Four small closely spaced stratovolcanoes were constructed along an E-W line on the eastern side of the complex. The easternmost and highest, Medvezhii, lies outside the western caldera, along the Pacific coast. Srednii, Tukap, and Kudriavy (Moyorodake) volcanoes lie immediately to the west. Historically active Moyorodake is younger than 2000 years; it and Tukap remain fumarolically active. The westernmost of the post-caldera cones, Menshoi Brat, is a large lava dome with flank scoria cones, one of which has produced a series of young lava flows up to 4.5 km long that reached Slavnoe Lake. Eruptions of Moyorodake have been documented since the 18th century, although lava flows from cinder cones on the flanks of Menshoi Brat were also probably erupted within the past few centuries.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1999 Oct 7 1999 Oct 13 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kudriavy
1958 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Kudriavy
[ 1946 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2   Kudriavy
1883 May 1883 Jun Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kudriavy
1778 Dec 31 ± 365 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Kudriavy
0050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Medvezhii | Maioro

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Korotyshka Cinder cone
Lagerny Cinder cone
Medvezhii Stratovolcano 1125 m
Stratovolcano 991 m 45° 23' 12" N 148° 50' 33" E
Pereval Cinder cone
Sirenevy Stratovolcano
Srednii Stratovolcano 1113 m 45° 23' 0" N 148° 49' 0" E
    Ainu Tukap
Stratovolcano 960 m
Vostok Cinder cone

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Ameba Dome
Kulichi Dome
Menshoi Brat
    Menshiy Brat
Dome 562 m 45° 23' 0" N 148° 46' 0" E
Medvezhia, an eroded 8-km-wide caldera at the NE tip of Iturup Island, contains a complex of several cones and lava domes. Four closely spaced volcanic cones lie on an E-W line. The easternmost and highest, Medvezhii cone (upper left), lies outside the caldera, along the Pacific coast. Srednii cone (center), which has produced lava flows that reached the coast, is located immediately to the west. The slightly lower, historically active Kudriavy cone (right center) has fed youthful-looking lava flows that reach the caldera wall.

Photo by T. Vendelin, 1990, (courtesy of Genrich Steinberg, Institute for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk).
Youthful-looking lava flows, many with prominent marginal levees, descend the west flank of Kudriavy, a post-caldera cone of Medvezhia caldera. Kudriavy, one of four cones constructed along an E-W line, is capped by two shallow craters. The western crater has fed a prominent, thick lava flow, and numerous other lava flows blanket the flanks of the cone and extend 2-3 km to the caldera walls. Kudriavy is the only historically active center on Medvezhia; it produced eruptions in 1778 or 1779, 1883, and 1958.

Photo by T. Vendelin, 1990 (courtesy of Genrich Steinberg, Institute for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Botcharnikov R E, Shmulovich K I, Tkachenko S I, Korzhinsky M A, Rybin A V, 2003. Hydrogen isotope geochemistry and heat balance of a fumarolic system: Kudriavy volcano, Kuriles. J Volc Geotherm Res, 124: 45-66.

Ermakov V A, Steinberg G S, 1999. Kudryavyi volcano and the evolution of Medveshiya caldera (Iturup I., Kuril Is.). Volc Seism, 21: 307-338 (English translation).

Gorshkov G S, 1958. Kurile Islands. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 7: 1-99.

Gorshkov G S, 1970. Volcanism and the Upper Mantle; Investigations in the Kurile Island Arc. New York: Plenum Publishing Corp, 385 p.

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1996. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (second edition). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 502 p (in Japanese).

Japan Meteorological Agency, 2013. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (fourth edition, English version). Japan Meteorological Agency.

Vlasov G M, 1967. Kamchatka, Kuril, and Komandorskiye Islands: geological description. In: {Geol of the USSR}, Moscow, 31: 1-827.

Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Moyorodake [Medvezhia] Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.