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Report on Karymsky (Russia) — November 2005


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 30, no. 11 (November 2005)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Karymsky (Russia) Explosions continued during December 2004-June 2005

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Karymsky (Russia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 30:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200511-300130



54.049°N, 159.443°E; summit elev. 1513 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

From December 2004 to June 2005 frequent explosions and plumes were detected at Karymsky (BGVN 30:06). In June 2005, the alert level was briefly lowered from Orange to Yellow because of a decrease in seismic and volcanic activity, but it was raised to Orange again on 23 June because of ash and gas plumes which rose to 3 km above the crater.

Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Orange and seismicity remained above background levels throughout August-December 2005.

Throughout July 2005 ash-and-gas plumes frequently may have risen to 1-3 km above the crater. During 8-15 July, 450-600 shallow earthquakes occurred daily. On 11 July, an ash-and-gas plume extended about 11 km SE. During 15-22 July, 350-700 shallow earthquakes occurred daily. On 22 July, a weak thermal anomaly and a short E-drifting ash-and-gas plume were visible on satellite imagery.

Seismic activity during August indicated frequent possible ash-and-gas plumes up to 4 km altitude. A MODIS satellite thermal anomaly was registered on 2 August. On 22 August, three ash plumes reached heights around 3-4 km altitude and extended ~ 130 km E. An ash plume was visible at an altitude of ~ 5.8 km on 27 August.

Small ash and gas plumes continued to be emitted in September. A thermal anomaly was visible at the volcano on satellite imagery on 15 September.

Visual observations on 17 October revealed that the lava dome in the volcano's crater had been partially destroyed. Based on seismic data, three ash-and-gas plumes may have risen to 2.5-4 km altitude during 14-16 October. Five ash-and-gas plumes may have reached heights of 2.5-3.5 km altitude on several days during the last week of October 2005. A thermal anomaly at the volcano was visible on satellite imagery.

The lava dome inside the volcano's crater continued to grow during November 2005. Based on seismic data, three gas plumes containing some ash possibly rose 3-3.8 km altitude during 29-31 October and 1 November. Ash plumes were visible on satellite imagery extending NE on 31 October and 2 November. During 4-11 November five gas-and-steam plumes with some ash may have reached heights of 3-3.5 km altitude.

No seismic data were available after 10 November. A thermal anomaly was visible at the volcano on 15 and 17 November. According to seismic data, many weak shallow earthquakes and possible gas-steam plumes with some amount of ash up to 2.5 km altitude were registered on 20-23 November. A thermal anomaly was noted over the volcano during the last week of November and the first week of December. According to satellite data from Russia and USA, ash clouds moving to the SE from the volcano were noted on 6-7 December.

After 3 December the availability of seismic data became very erratic. A thermal anomaly was registered on 9-11 December and 14-15 December. According to satellite data, ash plumes and clouds were noted on 9 and on 10 December, moving SW and SE, and SE and E, respectively.

During the third week of December, many weak shallow earthquakes and possibly ten ash plumes up to 3.6 km altitude were registered. According to Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) volcanologists who work near Karymsky, ash explosions rose up to 2.5-3 km altitude on 17-21 December 2005, and extended WSW and ENE. A thermal anomaly was registered over the volcano on 15-21 December. Seismicity indicated that ash explosions from the summit crater continued.

Many weak shallow earthquakes were registered during the last week of December. Ash plumes rose up to 2.5-4 km altitude on 24 December and 26-27 December and extended mainly E and SE from the volcano, and occasionally SW. According to KVERT volcanologists, a new cone approximately 60-80 m in diameter was formed at the summit of Karymsky volcano. A small lava dome 20-30 m in diameter was seen in the cone's crater. According to satellite data from the USA and Russia, a thermal anomaly was registered over the volcano all week.

Geological Summary. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Olga Girina, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), a cooperative program of the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia, the Kamchatka Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department (KEMSD), GS RAS (Russia), and the Alaska Volcano Observatory (USA); Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA; Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) (URL: https://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/).