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Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — 31 July-6 August 2002


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
31 July-6 August 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 July-6 August 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (31 July-6 August 2002)



56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 27 July-2 August, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch and a lava dome grew in the active crater. Individual earthquakes of M 1.9-2.4, as well as a number of smaller earthquakes at depths of 0-6 km, were recorded. Other local seismic signals indicated that possible weak, ash-poor explosions rose to 1 km above the dome. Avalanches were also registered. Volcanic tremor increased in intensity on 29 July and remained high until 1 August. Tremor gradually decreased in amplitude during 1-2 August. Gas-and-steam emissions, some possibly including small amounts of fine ash, rose to ~1.5 km above the lava dome. On 30 July a short-lived explosion sent ash-and-gas plumes to ~3 km above the dome. Thermal anomalies of 1-4 pixels were visible on satellite images. On 28 July and 1 August, small steam-and-aerosol plumes were visible extending to the S and 35 km to the NW, respectively. KVERT decreased the Concern Color Code from Orange ("explosive eruption is possible within a few days and may occur with little or no warning") to Yellow ("volcano is restless").

Geological Summary. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1,300 km3 andesitic volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures, with at least 60 large eruptions during the Holocene. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes occur on its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large open caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)