Zavodovski

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 56.3°S
  • 27.57°W

  • 551 m
    1807 ft

  • 390130
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 29 June-5 July 2016 Citation IconCite this Report


On 30 March an eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island. A photo showed bombs being ejected from the crater. One of the world’s largest (if not the largest) penguin colonies resides on the E side of the island and is home to 690,000 breeding pairs. The eruption occurred during molting season in March, when penguins stay ashore. A satellite image captured in May showed an eruption plume coming through the clouds.

Source: Peter Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey, personal communication


Most Recent Bulletin Report: February 2017 (BGVN 42:02) Citation IconCite this Report


Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016

Remote Zavodovski Island, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, 570 km SE of South Georgia Island. The basaltic stratovolcano on the island, known as Mount Curry, has a large lava platform extending east from two parasitic cones on the side of the main edifice. Steam emissions from the summit have been observed by researchers, fishing vessels, and tourists who visit the island to see the population of over one million chinstrap penguins. The only confirmed historical eruption was that observed in 1819 by the Russian explorer Bellingshausen. In early July 2016, a photograph of ash and steam emitting from the volcano was released by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While steam plumes have been observed emitting from Mt. Curry on a number of occasions, observations of volcanic ash had not been documented in modern times until June 2016. The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere on 27 April 2012 (figure 1). Aerosol particles from the volcano are key to the formation of clouds, but whether they are derived from steam plumes, magmatic gases, or volcanic ash is unclear from this image.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. In this image that includes Zavodovski Island taken on 27 April 2012, NASA scientists interpret the sulfate aerosols from the volcano as sufficient to seed clouds in the air masses passing over the island. Note how the plume stretching north is brighter than the surrounding clouds, a result of the small aerosol particle size and the numerous small water droplets that form around them. The smaller droplets provide more surfaces to reflect light. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory. Further details from the image can be found at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78352 .

The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit, shown in their expedition report to the SGSSI Government (figure 2). Additional NASA MODIS satellite images of white plumes issuing from Mount Curry were captured by the South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog in January and December 2015, but are inconclusive as to the presence of volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Puffs of steam emerge at regular intervals from Mount Curry on Zavodovski Island in January 2015 when photographed by a BBC filming crew that spent 14 days on the island. View taken by UAV from the SW side of the island. Courtesy of SGSSI Government (BBC "One Planet" – Post-expedition report - Zavodovski Island 2015).

The plumes in 2016 first appeared in images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess. Images from 1 and 13 June 2016 also show white gas plumes. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016. A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Mt. Curry on Zavodovski island emitting ash and steam plumes during June 2016. Courtesy of British Antarctic Survey. Photo by fishing observer David Virgo.

Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash. On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.

Frequent satellite images of white plumes issuing from Zavodovski were captured in satellite images during the rest of 2016. On 29 August a white plume was drifting NE. Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions. On 1 November a grayish white plume was observed drifting E; on 19 and 20 November and 6 December white plumes were observed. A grayish-white plume was captured on 9 December drifting SSW, and on 17 December a large white plume was drifting SE.

References: BBC, 2015, BBC Natural History Unit filming expedition to Zavodovski Island, a report to the commissioners office, South Georgia Government, posted at www.gov.gs.

Information Contacts: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/ , https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/penguin-colonies-at-risk-from-erupting-volcano/); Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic (URL: http://www.gov.gs/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog (URL: http://southsandwichmonitoring.blogspot.com/).

Weekly Reports - Index


2016: June


29 June-5 July 2016 Citation IconCite this Report


On 30 March an eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island. A photo showed bombs being ejected from the crater. One of the world’s largest (if not the largest) penguin colonies resides on the E side of the island and is home to 690,000 breeding pairs. The eruption occurred during molting season in March, when penguins stay ashore. A satellite image captured in May showed an eruption plume coming through the clouds.

Source: Peter Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey, personal communication


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.

02/2017 (BGVN 42:02) Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016




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


February 2017 (BGVN 42:02) Citation IconCite this Report


Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016

Remote Zavodovski Island, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, 570 km SE of South Georgia Island. The basaltic stratovolcano on the island, known as Mount Curry, has a large lava platform extending east from two parasitic cones on the side of the main edifice. Steam emissions from the summit have been observed by researchers, fishing vessels, and tourists who visit the island to see the population of over one million chinstrap penguins. The only confirmed historical eruption was that observed in 1819 by the Russian explorer Bellingshausen. In early July 2016, a photograph of ash and steam emitting from the volcano was released by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While steam plumes have been observed emitting from Mt. Curry on a number of occasions, observations of volcanic ash had not been documented in modern times until June 2016. The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere on 27 April 2012 (figure 1). Aerosol particles from the volcano are key to the formation of clouds, but whether they are derived from steam plumes, magmatic gases, or volcanic ash is unclear from this image.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. In this image that includes Zavodovski Island taken on 27 April 2012, NASA scientists interpret the sulfate aerosols from the volcano as sufficient to seed clouds in the air masses passing over the island. Note how the plume stretching north is brighter than the surrounding clouds, a result of the small aerosol particle size and the numerous small water droplets that form around them. The smaller droplets provide more surfaces to reflect light. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory. Further details from the image can be found at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78352 .

The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit, shown in their expedition report to the SGSSI Government (figure 2). Additional NASA MODIS satellite images of white plumes issuing from Mount Curry were captured by the South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog in January and December 2015, but are inconclusive as to the presence of volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Puffs of steam emerge at regular intervals from Mount Curry on Zavodovski Island in January 2015 when photographed by a BBC filming crew that spent 14 days on the island. View taken by UAV from the SW side of the island. Courtesy of SGSSI Government (BBC "One Planet" – Post-expedition report - Zavodovski Island 2015).

The plumes in 2016 first appeared in images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess. Images from 1 and 13 June 2016 also show white gas plumes. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016. A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Mt. Curry on Zavodovski island emitting ash and steam plumes during June 2016. Courtesy of British Antarctic Survey. Photo by fishing observer David Virgo.

Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash. On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.

Frequent satellite images of white plumes issuing from Zavodovski were captured in satellite images during the rest of 2016. On 29 August a white plume was drifting NE. Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions. On 1 November a grayish white plume was observed drifting E; on 19 and 20 November and 6 December white plumes were observed. A grayish-white plume was captured on 9 December drifting SSW, and on 17 December a large white plume was drifting SE.

References: BBC, 2015, BBC Natural History Unit filming expedition to Zavodovski Island, a report to the commissioners office, South Georgia Government, posted at www.gov.gs.

Information Contacts: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/ , https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/penguin-colonies-at-risk-from-erupting-volcano/); Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic (URL: http://www.gov.gs/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog (URL: http://southsandwichmonitoring.blogspot.com/).

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 5 Holocene eruptive periods.


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2016 Mar 30 2016 May 16 ± 15 days Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1908 Nov ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1830 Sep ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
[ 1823 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
1819 Dec Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations

Deformation History


There is no Deformation History data available for Zavodovski.

Emission History


There is no Emissions History data available for Zavodovski.

Photo Gallery


Steam clouds rise from glacier-clad Mount Curry, the 551-m-high summit of Zavodovski Island in this aerial view from the south. Icebergs lie off the shores of the 5-km-wide island, the most frequently visited and northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands. Two young eruptive fissures extend NE from the summit toward craters located below the icecap on the east flank and were the source of a lava platform extending toward Pungent Point (right).

Photograph by HMS Endurance (courtesy of John Smellie, British Antarctic Survey).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


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

Affiliated Sites