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Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2002

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 27, no. 5 (May 2002)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Sheveluch (Russia) Growing lava dome, seismicity, and 3-km ash-and-gas plumes through mid-June

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Sheveluch (Russia) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 27:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200205-300270.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During April through mid-June 2002, mild eruptive activity continued at Shiveluch. A lava dome continued to grow in the active crater, gas-and-steam and ash-and-gas emissions occurred, and seismicity remained above background levels. Plumes reached up to 3 km above the lava dome (table 1). Earthquakes reached magnitudes up to 2.4 at depths of 0-10 km. Many other local shallow seismic signals occurred that possibly indicated weak gas-ash explosions and avalanches. Episodes of weak spasmodic volcanic tremor were also registered. Thermal anomalies were visible on AVHRR satellite imagery throughout the report period (table 2). No ash was detected in any image.

Table 1. Plumes reported at Shiveluch during 30 March through 14 June 2002. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Time Plume type Height above dome Comment on plume
30 Mar 2002 2042 ash and gas 1.5 km --
31 Mar 2002 -- gas and steam 300-700 m --
31 Mar 2002 1310 ash -- view obscured by clouds
02 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 300-700 m --
10 Apr 2002 0900 ash and gas 1 km --
15 Apr 2002 1906 ash and gas 1 km --
19 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 1.0-1.5 km --
20 Apr 2002 ~1240 ash clouds 800 m --
21 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 1.0-1.5 km --
21 Apr-23 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 200-500 m --
25 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 200-500 m --
26 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 100 m --
29 Apr 2002 -- gas and steam 800 m extended 10 km E
30 Apr-01 May 2002 -- gas 200-600 m --
01 May 2002 morning transparent gray, dark blue -- extended 40 km S
01 May 2002 evening transparent gray, dark blue -- extended 5 km NW
05 May 2002 0800 gas; transparent gray-blue 100 m; 5 km SE --
05 May 2002 0945 ash and gas 1.5 km --
05 May 2002 -- gas and steam 200-800 m --
08 May-09 May 2002 -- gas and steam 200-800 m --
08 May 2002 -- gas, steam, and ash 200-800 m --
10 May 2002 -- gas, steam, and ash 300-500 m --
11 May 2002 -- gas and steam 1.0-1.6 km --
12 May 2002 morning gas, little ash 50 m --
13 May-15 May 2002 -- gas and steam 1.0-1.6 km --
16 May 2002 -- gas, steam, and ash 300-500 m --
17 May 2002 2100 gas and steam, little ash 800 m extended 10 km SE
21 May 2002 1707 ash and gas 800 m --
21 May 2002 evening gas and steam, possible little ash 600-800 m --
23 May 2002 evening gas and steam, possible little ash 600-800 m --
24 May 2002 -- gas and steam 1.2-1.5 km extended 5 km W
25 May 2002 -- gas and steam 300 m --
27 May 2002 -- gas and steam 1.2-1.5 km extended 5 km W
31 May 2002 evening gas and steam 1.3 km extended 5 km E
31 May 2002 -- steam -- extended 50 km SW
31 May 2002 -- gas and steam 900-2,500 m extended 5 km E
01 Jun 2002 -- gas and steam 200 m --
01 Jun 2002 1616 ash and gas 3 km --
01 Jun 2002 -- small gas and steam 1.3 km --
03 Jun 2002 -- gas and steam 900-2,500 m extended 5 km E
02 Jun-07 Jun 2002 -- ash and gas 0.7-1 km --
02 Jun-07 Jun 2002 -- gas 2.5 km --
07 Jun-14 Jun 2002 -- ash and gas ~1 km --

Table 2. Thermal anomalies visible in AVHRR satellite imagery at Shiveluch during 30 March through 13 June. On some days, clouds obscured the view. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Number of pixels Maximum band-3 temperature Background Comment
30 Mar 2002 5 20°C -15 to -20°C --
31 Mar-02 Apr 2002 -- -- -- Weak thermal anomalies visible through cloud cover.
19 Apr 2002 -- -- -- Thermal anomalies visible.
22 Apr-23 Apr 2002 -- -- -- Thermal anomalies visible.
23 Apr 2002 6 49°C -5 to -10°C Three pixels at max. band-3 temp. (near saturation).
30 Apr 2002 1-4 49°C 5 to -10°C --
01 May 2002 -- -- -- Small possible steam/aerosol cloud visible over the summit.
02 May 2002 1-4 49°C 5 to -10°C --
04 May 2002 2 35.4°C -4°C --
04 May 2002 -- -- -- Possible steam/aerosol plume visible extending ~100 km S.
05 May 2002 2 23.4°C -6°C --
17 May 2002 2-6 24°C -4 to 5°C --
19 May 2002 3-4 33-38°C 3-7°C Gas-and-steam plume visible extending 50 km to the SW.
23 May 2002 3-4 33-38°C 3-7°C Gas-and-steam plume visible extending 50 km to the SW.
28 May 2002 2 29.5°C -- --
31 May 2002 4 49.5°C -3°C Steam plume visible extending 50 km to the SW.
31 May 2002 5-9 ~49°C -5 to 4°C --
01 Jun 2002 9 47-49°C 0-5°C "Sensor" recovery pixel also observed.
01 Jun-04 Jun 2002 5-9 ~49°C -5 to 4°C --
09 Jun 2002 6 ~49°C ~0°C --
13 Jun 2002 6 ~49°C ~0°C --

At 1238 on 20 April a 15-minute-long series of shallow events was registered, and at 1240 an increase in eruptive activity was noticed from Klyuchi town (46 km S). Ash clouds rose 800 m along the entire dome. At the same time, a pilot reported an ash cloud 600 m wide and 800 m high above the dome. The character of the ash cloud, as well as photos and visual observations from Klyuchi town suggested that a rockfall had occurred at the dome.

Continuous volcanic tremor was recorded beginning on 3 May. On 5 May a short-lived eruption at 0945 produced an ash-and-gas plume that rose 1.5 km above the lava dome and was accompanied by a 4-minute-long shallow seismic event. At 0050 on 14 May incandescence was observed at the dome summit from Klyuchi town. During the afternoons of 13, 14, and 15 May the nearest seismic station registered high-frequency seismic signals for 14, 11, and 7 hours, respectively. KVERT suggested that the signals were caused by intense snow thawing and running water near the station, masking the volcanic seismicity.

At 2100 on 17 May a gas-and-steam plume containing a small amount of ash rose 800 m above the dome and extended 10 km to the SE; and at 2320 incandescence at the dome summit was observed from Klyuchi town. At 1707 on 21 May a short-lived explosive eruption sent an ash-gas plume to heights of 800 m above the dome. An accompanying 5-minute-long shallow seismic event was registered.

At 1530 on 31 May a large earthquake (ML 3.1) occurred. At 1616 on 1 June eruptive activity increased. Short-lived explosive eruptions sent an ash-gas plume to heights of 3.0 km above the dome, visible from Klyuchi town at 1616 and 1628. Two ~3-minute-long shallow seismic events were registered at 1615 and 1626. During the week, several short-lived explosive eruptions per day sent ash-gas plumes to heights of 700-1000 m above the dome. On 1 and 2 June two 11- and 100-minute-long episodes of strong high-frequency volcanic tremor were registered. The Concern Color Code was increased from Yellow ("volcano is restless") to Orange ("volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time").

Shallow seismic events 4-5 minutes long registered during early June, and there were 1-3 short-lived explosive eruptions per day that probably sent ash-gas plumes to heights of ~1.0 km above the dome. Seismic data did not reveal any strong explosions. As of 14 June the Concern Color Code was returned to Yellow.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. 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 dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. 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.

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 and Dave Schneider, Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA, b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.