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Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — January 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 1 (January 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Lava flows; directed explosions; plumes on satellite images

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198701-300260



56.056°N, 160.642°E; summit elev. 4754 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 26 December, after 5 months of quiet [but see 13:4], two vents from an intracrater scoria cone ejected bombs and ash. Bombs reached 300 m height. Rare gas/steam explosions, mixed with some ash, fed a 1-km eruption column. On 29 December, lava flows poured from a vent near the foot of the scoria cone (last active in July) onto the N and NW flanks. In January, pyroclastic material was ejected obliquely from the crater onto the volcano's flanks. The eruption decreased in intensity on 20 January. Images from the NOAA 9 polar orbiting satellite at 1617 on 21 January showed a 25-km-long plume spreading SW that had grown to 40 km by 0843 the next day.

Weather satellite images showed renewed activity on 17 February with larger plumes late 19 February. Plumes extended as much as 300 km from the volcano (table 1) and were continuing to form as of 20 February. Comparisons of plume temperatures and directions of plume movement with temperature and wind data recorded by radiosondes (launched 15 km to the N) indicated that plumes reached as much as 9 km altitude.

Table 1. Descriptions of Kliuchevskoi plumes from infrared weather satellite images, 17-20 February 1987. Plume altitudes were estimated by comparing wind data from radiosondes launched 15 km N of the volcano with directions of plume movement.

Date Time Altitude Description
17 Feb 1987 1800 ~9 km 125 km to the SE
17 Feb 1987 2100 ~9 km 250 km to the SSE
18 Feb 1987 0000 -- Small 'cold spot' indicating activity
18 Feb 1987 0900 ~3 km 125 km to the SSW
18 Feb 1987 1017 ~3 km 65 km to the SSW, curving SE at its distal end
19 Feb 1987 0000 -- 100 km to the SW
19 Feb 1987 0150 -- 180 km to the SE
19 Feb 1987 1126 -- 180 km to the SSE
19 Feb 1987 1800 -- 190 km to the ESE
19 Feb 1987 2100 -- 250 km long, about 50 km wide
20 Feb 1987 0000 more than 7.5 km 250 km long
20 Feb 1987 0600 ~7.5 km 300 km ESE

Geological Summary. Klyuchevskoy is the highest and most active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Since its origin about 6,000 years ago, this symmetrical, basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during approximately the past 3,000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 and 3,600 m elevation. Eruptions recorded since the late 17th century have resulted in frequent changes to the morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater. These eruptions over the past 400 years have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.

Information Contacts: A. Khrenov and G. Bogoyavlenskaya, IV; M. Matson, S. Kusselson, and W. Gould, NOAA/NESDIS.