Logo link to homepage

Report on Bezymianny (Russia) — 7 March-13 March 2012


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
7 March-13 March 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Bezymianny (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 March-13 March 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (7 March-13 March 2012)



55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

KVERT reported that a strong explosive eruption from Bezymianny was detected by seismic instruments on 9 March. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3.5-5 km (11,500-16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. During the most intense phase of the eruption ash plumes from pyroclastic flows rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed the plume drifting 700 km NE. Ashfall was reported in Ust-Kamchatsk Village (120 km ENE). Later that day activity decreased significantly and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange. During 9-13 March strong gas-and-steam emissions were noted, a viscous lava flow effused onto the lava-dome flank, and a thermal anomaly continued to be detected in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange on 14 March.

Geological Summary. The modern Bezymianny, much smaller than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, was formed about 4,700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7,000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3,000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1,000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large open crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)