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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 54.974°N
  • 160.703°E

  • 2539 m
    8328 ft

  • 300210
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Gamchen.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Gamchen.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Gamchen.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



550 BCE

2539 m / 8328 ft


Volcano Types


Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

Gamchen is a complex volcano composed of four stratovolcanoes, one of which is of Holocene age, atop a shield-like structure. Yuzhny Gamchen and Severny Gamchen are two steep-sided eroded stratovolcanoes of Pleistocene age. Edifice-collapse events at Gamchen during the early Holocene produced several large debris-avalanche deposits below the eastern flanks. Molodoi, a small stratovolcano with a well-preserved, shallow crater, is located on the east flank of Severvy Gamchen. Barany, a young stratovolcano with a youthful crater 500 m wide and 200 m deep, is located on the SE flank of Yuzhny Gamchen volcano. Barany (also spelled Baranii) has been the source of a young lava field that extends to the east and NE and was active between about 3600 and 3000 years ago. Lava domes are found on the flanks of the volcanoes; the youngest of these is Lukovitsa dome, which formed during the final stages of activity at Barany. No historical eruptions are known from the Gamchen complex.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Andreev V I, Litasov N E, Puzankov Y M, 1988. Radioactivity of the basalt-dacite and andesite suites of the Gamchen volcanotectonic structure. Vulc Seism, 7: 219-233 (English translation).

Braitseva O, Ponomareva V, Melekestsev I, Sulerzhitsky L, Pevzner M, 2002-. Holocene Kamchatka volcanoes.

Erlich E N, 1985. (pers. comm.).

Fedotov S A, Masurenkov Y P (eds), 1991. Active Volcanoes of Kamchatka. Moscow: Nauka Pub, 2 volumes.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Kozhemyaka N N, 1996. Long-lived volcanic centers of Kamchatka: types of cones, growth time spans, volumes of erupted material, productivities, rock proportions, and tectonic settings. Volc Seism, 17: 621-636 (English translation).

Luchitsky I V (ed), 1974. History of the Development of Relief of Siberia and the Far East. Kamchatka, Kurile and Komander Islands. Moscow: Nauka Pub, 439 p (in Russian).

Melekestsev I V, Ponomareva V V, Volynets O N, 1995. Kizimen volcano, Kamchatka - a future Mount St. Helens?. J Volc Geotherm Res, 65: 205-226.

Ponomareva V V, Melekestsev I V, Dirksen O V, 2006. Sector collapses and large landslides on late Pleistocene-Holocene volcanoes in Kamchatka, Russia. J Volc Geotherm Res, 158: 117-138.

Vlodavetz V I, Piip B I, 1959. Kamchatka and Continental Areas of Asia. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 8: 1-110.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology SE flank (Barany, Lukovitsa)
1650 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology SE flank (Barany)

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.


Gamtschen | Khamchenskaya, Sopka | Gamchensky


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Stratovolcano 54° 57' 30" N 160° 42' 0" E
Menner Shield volcano
Molodoi Stratovolcano
Severny Gamchen
Stratovolcano 2300 m 54° 59' 0" N 160° 43' 0" E
Yuzhny Gamchen Stratovolcano 2573 m 54° 58' 0" N 160° 41' 0" E


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Lukovitsa Dome

Photo Gallery

The Komarov volcanic complex is seen in the foreground in this view from the north toward the southern part of the Gamchen volcanic range. The youngest cone of the Komarov complex, 2070-m-high Komarov, was built at the western end of a 2.5 x 4 km caldera. It is capped by two craters, one at the summit and the other on the upper east flank. The Gamchen massif beyond Komarov consists of three Late-Pleistocene and one Holocene cones. The perfect cone of Kronotsky volcano is seen on the far right horizon.

Copyrighted photo by Philippe Bourseiller (Holocene Kamchataka volcanoes;
The Gamchen volcanic massif, consisting of one Holocene and three late-Pleistocene cones, is seen from the SE. The reddish Holocene cone in the foreground, capped by a 500-m-wide, 200-m-deep crater, is named Barany (or Baranii, meaning "Sheep's"). Stratigraphic evidence indicates that it grew in several spurts of activity 3600-3000 years ago. Yuzhny Gamchen (center) forms the high point of the Gamchen massif. Kizimen volcano is seen on the distant horizon left of Gamchen's summit.

Copyrighted photo by Philippe Bourseiller (Holocene Kamchataka volcanoes;

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Gamchen 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.