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Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 1993


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 18, no. 6 (June 1993)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Lava fountaining and explosive ash eruptions

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1993. Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 18:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199306-300260



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 19 June at 1100, a gas-and-ash burst generated a plume that rose 800 m above the crater rim, extending 20 km NW. Seismicity increased in late April before decreasing again in May, and remained at background levels in June. By 5 July, the level of volcanic tremor had increased significantly. Lava fountains, characteristic for this volcano, were observed rising 400 m above the crater rim on the night of 4-5 July. Late in the evening on 9 July, 10-12 lava bursts/minute were producing a lava fountain 100-400 m above the crater rim. Sporadic volcanic tremor was also recorded during the week of 5-12 July. On 13 July at 2345 gas-and-steam bursts produced a dark, ash-laden plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim and was blown SE. Lava fountaining to heights of 100-400 m above the crater rim was also observed.

Although ground observations of the summit were obscured by clouds on 15 July, the level of seismicity indicated that lava fountaining was occurring, possibly to heights up to 1 km above the crater rim. Gas-and-steam bursts that day were also producing a dark, ash-laden plume that, based on seismicity, may have risen several kilometers above the crater rim. Volcanic tremor was registered at seismic stations 11 and 19 km from the volcano.

An explosive eruption on 15 July at 1445 sent an ash cloud to an approximate altitude of 7.8 km. Satellite imagery later that evening showed multi-layered cloudiness E of the Kamchatka Peninsula, but no distinct ash plume. There were no pilot reports of ash after 1640, and one report indicated no ash above 6 km. Multi-layered cloudiness without a definitive ash cloud persisted on satellite imagery through 0700 on 16 July. A second eruption around 1500 on 16 July sent ash to 6 km. Satellite imagery did not detect a definitive ash cloud by 2500, and there were no pilot reports of ash between 7.5 and 11 km altitude.

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.

Information Contacts: V. Kirianov and S. Zharinov, IVGG; J. Lynch, SAB.