Kambalny

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 51.306°N
  • 156.875°E

  • 2116 m
    6940 ft

  • 300010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 17 May-23 May 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


On 19 May KVERT reported that the eruption at Kambalny likely had ended, with only gas-and-steam activity observed during the previous month. The explosive phase began on 24 March and ended on 10 April. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


Most Recent Bulletin Report: July 2017 (BGVN 42:07) Citation IconCite this Report


First major eruption in over 600 years consists of large ash explosions during March-April 2017

The last major eruption at Kambalny volcano was around 1350, although younger undated tephra layers have been found; there are also five Holocene cinder cones on the W and SE flanks. According to the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), a new eruption began began at about 2120 UTC on 24 March 2017. Satellite data showed an initial ash plume at about 5-6 km altitude drifting about 35 km SW from the volcano.

Explosive activity was strong during 24-27 March, generating ash plumes up to 7 km high that drifted downwind as far as 2,000 km (table 1). Activity then decreased, with only minor ash emissions through 6 April, followed by ash plumes that drifted 50 and 170 km on 9 and 10 April, respectively. Only gas-and-steam plumes were reported after that time.

Table 1. Chronological details of the March-April 2017 eruption of Kambalny. Data from KVERT reports.

Date Time (UTC) Plume height (km) Drift (km) Other observations
24 Mar 2017 2250 5-6 35 SW Aviation Color Code Orange
25 Mar 2017 0053 5-6 100 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 0240 5-6 163 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 0409 5-7 255 SW --
25 Mar 2017 1250 5 550 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 1807 6 870 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 2250 5.5 930 S --
26 Mar 2017 0530 5 1,350 SSE --
26 Mar 2017 2131 3.5-4 670 SE --
27 Mar 2017 0041 5 830 SE --
27 Mar 2017 0347 4-4.5 425 SE --
27 Mar 2017 2119 4-5 51 W --
27-31 Mar 2017 -- 5-6 2,000 W to SE --
01 Apr 2017 -- -- 200 E, SE Quiet.
02-04 Apr 2017 -- 7 -- Minor ash emissions thru 6 Apr; satellite thermal anomaly 3-4 Apr.
09 Apr 2017 -- 7 50 NE --
10 Apr 2017 -- -- 170 SE --
12 Apr 2017 -- -- -- Gas-and-steam activity.
21-28 Apr 2017 -- -- -- Moderate activity.
05 May 2017 -- -- -- Aviation Color Code Yellow. Moderate gas-steam activity.
19 May 2017 -- -- -- Aviation Color Code Yellow Green. Only gas-steam activity during last month; explosive phase began 24 Mar, ended 10 Apr 2017.

On 25 March satellite imagery showed an ash plume stretching about 100 km SW of the Kamchatka Peninsula (figure 1). A dark stain is visible to the W of the plume, where ash has covered the snow. By 26 March ashfall had covered the ground on both sides of the volcano. The eruption was also observed on the ground by staff at the South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary (figure 2). The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on the Aura satellite observed an airborne plume of sulfur dioxide (SO2) trailing S of Kamchatka on 26 March 2017 (figure 3).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured a natural-color image of Kambalny and its plume on 25 March 2017, the day after it began to erupt (N to top of photo.) By 0134 UTC (1334 local time) that day, the plume stretched about 100 km SW. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; image prepared by Jeff Schmatlz and Joshua Stevens using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response, and caption by Pola Lem.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Eruption of Kambalny on 25 March 2017. Photo by Liana Varavskaya, South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary (URL: http://www.kronoki.ru/news/1187).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Sulfur dioxide in the 26 March 2017 plume from Kambalny eruption. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; map by Joshua Stevens using data from the Aura OMI science team.

On 28 March 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired a natural-color image of an ash plume from Kambalny (figure 4), including a large area of ash-covered snow. When photographed by scientists on 12 April (figure 5), the entire edifice was covered by ash and there was a gas-and-steam plume rising from a crater fumarole.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Ash plume from Kambalny moving WNW on 28 March 2017. A large area of ash-covered snow is visible across the southern portion of the image. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; image by Joshua Stevens using Landsat 8 OLI data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. A small gas-and-steam plume rises from a fumarole in the Kambalny crater on 12 April 2017. View is from the S. Photo by A. Sokorenko; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, Kamchatka Territory 684000, Russia (URL: http://www.kronoki.ru/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

Weekly Reports - Index


2017: March | April | May


17 May-23 May 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


On 19 May KVERT reported that the eruption at Kambalny likely had ended, with only gas-and-steam activity observed during the previous month. The explosive phase began on 24 March and ended on 10 April. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


3 May-9 May 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


On 5 May KVERT reported that conditions at Kambalny were quiet the previous week. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


26 April-2 May 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


KVERT reported that moderate levels of activity at Kambalny continued during 21-28 April. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


19 April-25 April 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


KVERT reported that moderate activity at Kambalny continued during 15-21 April. Observers in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary noted minor ashfall in the Kurilskoe Lake area on 19 April. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


12 April-18 April 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


KVERT reported that observers in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary noted an ash plume from Kambalny rising to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 9 April. Ash plumes identified in satellite images drifted 50 km NE on 9 April and about 170 km SE the next day. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


5 April-11 April 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


Based on satellite data, KVERT reported that Kambalny was quiet on 1 April. Explosions on 2 April generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l., and then minor ash emissions occurred at least through 6 April. Ash plumes drifted 200 km E and SE during 2-4 April, and a thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 3-4 April. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


29 March-4 April 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


KVERT reported that the eruption that began at Kambalny at 2110 on 24 March continued through 31 March. Observers reported that explosions generated ash plumes that rose 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images showed ash plumes drifting 2,000 km W, SW, S, and SE during 24-30 March. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


22 March-28 March 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


KVERT reported that the onset of an eruption at Kambalny, witnessed by staff at the Kronotsky State Nature Reserve, began at 0950 on 25 March. Satellite data showed an ash plume drifting 35 km SW at altitudes of 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). The eruption intensified later that day, with ash plumes rising as high as 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting as far as 255 km SSW. Ash plumes continued to be generated at least through 28 March, varying in altitude from 3.5-6 km (11,500-19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifting as far as 1,350 km SSW, S, SSE, and SE during 26-27 March, and 51 km W on 28 March.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT); Kronotsky State Nature Reserve


Bulletin Reports - Index


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.

07/2017 (BGVN 42:07) First major eruption in over 600 years consists of large ash explosions during March-April 2017




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


July 2017 (BGVN 42:07) Citation IconCite this Report


First major eruption in over 600 years consists of large ash explosions during March-April 2017

The last major eruption at Kambalny volcano was around 1350, although younger undated tephra layers have been found; there are also five Holocene cinder cones on the W and SE flanks. According to the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), a new eruption began began at about 2120 UTC on 24 March 2017. Satellite data showed an initial ash plume at about 5-6 km altitude drifting about 35 km SW from the volcano.

Explosive activity was strong during 24-27 March, generating ash plumes up to 7 km high that drifted downwind as far as 2,000 km (table 1). Activity then decreased, with only minor ash emissions through 6 April, followed by ash plumes that drifted 50 and 170 km on 9 and 10 April, respectively. Only gas-and-steam plumes were reported after that time.

Table 1. Chronological details of the March-April 2017 eruption of Kambalny. Data from KVERT reports.

Date Time (UTC) Plume height (km) Drift (km) Other observations
24 Mar 2017 2250 5-6 35 SW Aviation Color Code Orange
25 Mar 2017 0053 5-6 100 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 0240 5-6 163 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 0409 5-7 255 SW --
25 Mar 2017 1250 5 550 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 1807 6 870 SSW --
25 Mar 2017 2250 5.5 930 S --
26 Mar 2017 0530 5 1,350 SSE --
26 Mar 2017 2131 3.5-4 670 SE --
27 Mar 2017 0041 5 830 SE --
27 Mar 2017 0347 4-4.5 425 SE --
27 Mar 2017 2119 4-5 51 W --
27-31 Mar 2017 -- 5-6 2,000 W to SE --
01 Apr 2017 -- -- 200 E, SE Quiet.
02-04 Apr 2017 -- 7 -- Minor ash emissions thru 6 Apr; satellite thermal anomaly 3-4 Apr.
09 Apr 2017 -- 7 50 NE --
10 Apr 2017 -- -- 170 SE --
12 Apr 2017 -- -- -- Gas-and-steam activity.
21-28 Apr 2017 -- -- -- Moderate activity.
05 May 2017 -- -- -- Aviation Color Code Yellow. Moderate gas-steam activity.
19 May 2017 -- -- -- Aviation Color Code Yellow Green. Only gas-steam activity during last month; explosive phase began 24 Mar, ended 10 Apr 2017.

On 25 March satellite imagery showed an ash plume stretching about 100 km SW of the Kamchatka Peninsula (figure 1). A dark stain is visible to the W of the plume, where ash has covered the snow. By 26 March ashfall had covered the ground on both sides of the volcano. The eruption was also observed on the ground by staff at the South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary (figure 2). The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on the Aura satellite observed an airborne plume of sulfur dioxide (SO2) trailing S of Kamchatka on 26 March 2017 (figure 3).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured a natural-color image of Kambalny and its plume on 25 March 2017, the day after it began to erupt (N to top of photo.) By 0134 UTC (1334 local time) that day, the plume stretched about 100 km SW. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; image prepared by Jeff Schmatlz and Joshua Stevens using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response, and caption by Pola Lem.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Eruption of Kambalny on 25 March 2017. Photo by Liana Varavskaya, South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary (URL: http://www.kronoki.ru/news/1187).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Sulfur dioxide in the 26 March 2017 plume from Kambalny eruption. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; map by Joshua Stevens using data from the Aura OMI science team.

On 28 March 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired a natural-color image of an ash plume from Kambalny (figure 4), including a large area of ash-covered snow. When photographed by scientists on 12 April (figure 5), the entire edifice was covered by ash and there was a gas-and-steam plume rising from a crater fumarole.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Ash plume from Kambalny moving WNW on 28 March 2017. A large area of ash-covered snow is visible across the southern portion of the image. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory; image by Joshua Stevens using Landsat 8 OLI data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. A small gas-and-steam plume rises from a fumarole in the Kambalny crater on 12 April 2017. View is from the S. Photo by A. Sokorenko; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, Kamchatka Territory 684000, Russia (URL: http://www.kronoki.ru/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

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.

Eruptive History


There is data available for 2 Holocene eruptive periods.


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2017 Mar 24 2017 Apr 10 Confirmed   Historical Observations
1350 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

Deformation History


There is no Deformation History data available for Kambalny.

Emission History


There is no Emissions History data available for Kambalny.

Photo Gallery


The compound 2156-m-high Kambalny (left center) and 1812-m-high Koshelev (far right) stratovolcanoes rise SW above the azure waters of Kurile Lake caldera, one of the scenic highlights of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Kambalny is the southernmost large stratovolcano on Kamchatka and Koshelev is its southernmost historically active volcano. Both volcanoes have produced late-stage, very recent lava flows from flank vents on complex older structures. The small island in Kurile Lake caldera is the "Heart of Alaid," a rhyolitic lava dome.

Photo by Nikolai Smelov, 1980 (courtesy of Vera Ponomareva, Inst. Volcanic Geology & Geochemistry, Petropavlovsk).
See title for photo information.
The compound stratovolcanoes of Kambalny (left) and Koshelev (right), rise beyond the SW shore of scenic Kurile Lake caldera at the southern tip of Kamchatka. Kurile Lake caldera formed in two stages, the first about 41,500 radiocarbon years ago and the second about 8000 years ago during one of Kamchatka's largest Holocene eruptions. The small island (right center) is the "Heart of Alaid," a rhyolitic lava dome. The conical peak on the distant horizon at right center is Alaid stratovolcano, the northernmost of the Kuril Islands.

Photo by Nikolai Smelov, 1996 (courtesy of Vera Ponomareva, Inst. Volcanic Geology & Geochemistry, Petropavlovsk).
See title for photo information.
A cumulus cloud rises above the summit of Kambalny, the southernmost large stratovolcano on the Kamchatka peninsula. The 2156-m-high compound volcano rises above the SW shores of scenic Kurile Lake caldera. There are no records of historical eruptions from Kambalny although very youthful cinder cones and lava flows on the west and SE flanks suggest the possibility of very recent eruptions. Active fumarolic areas are found on the flanks of the volcano.

Photo by Nikolai Smelov, 1996 (courtesy of Vera Ponomareva, Inst. Volcanic Geology & Geochemistry, Petropavlovsk).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


There are no samples for Kambalny in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites