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Report on Chikurachki (Russia) — April 2002


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 27, no. 4 (April 2002)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Chikurachki (Russia) Eruptive activity that began on 25 January 2002 continued through mid-March

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Chikurachki (Russia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 27:4. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200204-290360



50.324°N, 155.461°E; summit elev. 1781 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Eruptive activity at Chikurachki began on 25 January 2002. Ash plumes were observed, and a small new crater formed on the SSE part of the summit crater. By mid-February, volcanism decreased, but the Kamchatkan Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) stated that ash explosions could still occur (BGVN 27:01).

During 23-27 February, reports from the town of Severo-Kurilsk revealed renewed activity. On 25, 26, and 27 February ash plumes occasionally rose above the crater and ash fell in the vicinity of Tukharka River. In addition, snow melted very quickly near the volcano. On 8 February an ash plume rose a short distance and drifted NNE. Several clouds were visible on AVHRR satellite imagery that may have been composed of gas and steam from the volcano.

KVERT reported a continuation of eruptive activity through at least 16 March. On that day, beginning at 0700 and lasting until late evening, ash fell in Podgorny settlement, ~20 km SE of the volcano. On a reconnaissance helicopter flight during 1100-1300, observers saw constant gas emissions and sustained ash explosions that rose 200 m above the volcano and extended more than 100 km SE.

Geological Summary. Chikurachki, the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuriles, is actually a relatively small cone constructed on a high Pleistocene volcanic edifice. Oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone give it a distinctive red color. Frequent basaltic plinian eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. Lava flows from 1781-m-high Chikurachki reached the sea and form capes on the NW coast; several young lava flows also emerge from beneath the scoria blanket on the eastern flank. The Tatarinov group of six volcanic centers is located immediately to the south of Chikurachki, and the Lomonosov cinder cone group, the source of an early Holocene lava flow that reached the saddle between it and Fuss Peak to the west, lies at the southern end of the N-S-trending Chikurachki-Tatarinov complex. In contrast to the frequently active Chikurachki, the Tatarinov volcanoes are extensively modified by erosion and have a more complex structure. Tephrochronology gives evidence of only one eruption in historical time from Tatarinov, although its southern cone contains a sulfur-encrusted crater with fumaroles that were active along the margin of a crater lake until 1959.

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.