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Report on Mutnovsky (Russia) — April 2000


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 25, no. 4 (April 2000)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Mutnovsky (Russia) Two short-lived gas-and-ash explosions on 17 March

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Mutnovsky (Russia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 25:4. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200004-300060



52.449°N, 158.196°E; summit elev. 2288 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Prior to 24 March 2000, KVERT (Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team) had not included Mutnovsky in any activity reports this year. As of 28 April 2000, KVERT temporarily suspended operations because of a lack of funding.

After more precise analysis of visual reports from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and a comparison of signals from several seismic stations, KVERT determined that at 0700 on 17 March, a short-lived explosion sent a gas-and-steam plume to heights of ~1,000 m above the volcano; the plume disappeared within 30 minutes. At 1300 on 17 March, another gas-and-steam plume rose to about the same altitude and extended to the SE; activity ended by 1700. A corresponding shallow seismic event was registered at 1856, followed by a low-frequency (1 Hz) volcanic tremor. The hazard level was originally Yellow but was returned to Green later in the month, although episodes of low-level, low-frequency volcanic tremor continued. The volcano occasionally was obscured by clouds.

An increase in volcanic tremor occurred on 1 April from 1300-2100 and again at 0930-1700 on 13 April. The volcano remained quiet through the rest of April.

Geological Summary. Massive Mutnovsky, one of the most active volcanoes of southern Kamchatka, is formed of four coalescing stratovolcanoes of predominantly basaltic composition. Multiple summit craters cap the volcanic complex. Growth of Mutnovsky IV, the youngest cone, began during the early Holocene. An intracrater cone was constructed along the northern wall of the 1.3-km-wide summit crater. Abundant flank cinder cones were concentrated on the SW side. Holocene activity was characterized by mild-to-moderate phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions from the summit crater. Explosive eruptions have been common since the 17th century, with lava flows produced during the 1904 eruption.

Information Contacts: Olga Chubarova, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Tom Miller, Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.