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Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — 17 March-23 March 2021


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
17 March-23 March 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 March-23 March 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (17 March-23 March 2021)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

KVERT reported that the Strombolian eruption from vents on Klyuchevskoy’s lower NW flank continued during 12-19 March. A large, bright thermal anomaly over the vents was identified in satellite images. Kamchatka Volcanological Station scientists visited the eruption site on 16 March and observed decreased activity. A small lava flow effused from a vent at the W base of the cone and lava flowed from the N side. Every few seconds material was ejected as high as 100 m above the cone’s rim. On 22 March the cinder cone was weakly incandescent and lava effusion continued to be observed in webcam images. The temperature of the thermal anomaly identified in satellite data also significantly decreased. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) on 22 March. Two days later, on 24 March, the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green (the lowest level); weak incandescence from the cone and flows visible in webcam images reflected cooling.

Geological Summary. Klyuchevskoy (also spelled Kliuchevskoi) is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Kamchatka Volcanological Station