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Report on Karymsky (Russia) — June 2002

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 27, no. 6 (June 2002)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Karymsky (Russia) Explosions eject ash to 3 km above summit during April and July 2002

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Karymsky (Russia). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 27:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200206-300130.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Karymsky

Russia

54.049°N, 159.443°E; summit elev. 1513 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismicity at Karymsky was above background during late March through at least mid-July 2002. Local shallow events occurred at the same rate previously reported in BGVN 27:03 (~10 events per hour). The rate increased briefly during mid-May to ~10-15 events per hour. The character of the seismicity indicated that weak gas-and-ash explosions and avalanches possibly occurred. Thermal anomalies and occasional plumes were visible on satellite imagery throughout the report period (table 2).

Table 2. Thermal anomalies and plumes visible on AVHRR satellite imagery at Karymsky during 30 March-9 July 2002. No airborne ash was detected in any image. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Time (local) Size (pixels) Max. band-3 temperature Background temperature Visible plume
30 Mar 2002 -- -- 13°C -15 to -20°C --
31 Mar 2002 -- -- -- -- Faint thermal anomaly visible through cloud cover.
09 Apr 2002 -- 4 29°C 0°C --
12 Apr-19 Apr 2002 -- 2-5 -- -- --
17 Apr 2002 1807 2 29°C -3°C Faint aerosol/steam plume trended SE.
20 Apr 2002 -- 3 23°C -5 to -20°C --
22 Apr 2002 -- 5 30°C 3°C --
26 Apr-03 May 2002 -- 1-6 42°C 0- ~10°C Possible faint aerosol/steam plume trended SE, visible at 1704 on 28 April.
03 May 2002 -- 3-4 13.4°C -8°C --
04 May 2002 -- 3-4 40°C -1°C Small aerosol/steam plume visible trended S at 1800.
09 May 2002 1740 2 37.5°C 4°C Faint ash-and-gas plume visible extended 20 km to the SE.
10 May-17 May 2002 -- 2-4 ~50°C 2-7°C --
10 May 2002 0727 -- -- -- Ash-and-steam plume visible trended 50 km to the S.
13 May 2002 1744 -- -- -- Faint steam/aerosol plume extended ~60 km to the SE.
20 May 2002 -- 1 16°C -2°C Faint plume extended 30 km to the SE at 0647.
22 May 2002 -- 2 ~49°C 7°C --
24 May 2002 0651 3 16.4°C -2°C --
01 Jun 2002 -- 1 11°C 0°C --
02 Jun 2002 -- 3 49°C 6°C --
09 Jun 2002 0708 2-4 43.5°C -1.5°C --
15 Jun 2002 -- 3 ~49°C 17°C Karymsky lake visible on image at temperature of 33.6°C, six pixels square, warmest to the W.
20 Jun 2002 -- 3 38°C 17°C --
23, 25, 27 Jun 2002 -- 1-3 10 - ~49°C 1 - 18°C Steam/gas plume extended 35 km to the W on 25 June.
29 Jun-30 Jun 2002 -- 1-4 15 - ~49°C -4 - 25°C --
01 Jul-02 Jul 2002 -- -- -- -- Small steam plume extended ~50 km to the NE on 1 July.
06, 08-09 Jul 2002 -- 1-3 ~25 - 31°C 5 - 11.5°C --

According to a pilot's report, at 1115 on 15 April an explosion ejected ash to a height of 3.0 km above the volcano. MODIS imagery on 17 April revealed at least five traces of ashfall extending to ~25 km in various directions.

During a helicopter flight on 28 April, observers reported an ash explosion to 500 m above the crater. Ash deposits were visible on the W (most intense) and E flanks of the volcano. A new ~100-m-high cone was visible on 28 April inside the active crater.

On 10 May the new cone was visible along with a lava flow 1.3 km down the S-SW slope of the volcano (figure 9). It reached ~300 m wide. The flow was unusual because it had an andesitic composition, rather than the typical basaltic composition that was common in lava flows down the SW flank during 1996-2000. Seismic data on 29 June indicated a possible ash-and-gas explosion to a height of ~4.0 km at 1631. On 9 July at 1032, a helicopter pilot reported a plume to a height of 3.0 km. The Concern Color Code remained at Yellow throughout the report period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. View of Karymsky from a helicopter on 10 May 2002. The billowing plume at the time of this photo concealed the new intracrater cone at the summit; winds carried the plume approximately ENE. The active crater generated a conspicuous lava flow down the S-SW slope that reached ~1.3 km long and ~300 m wide (~ 20% of its length continued beyond the lower right-hand margin of this photo). Caption help courtesy of Victor Ivanov (Institute of Volcanology). Photo by Nikolay I. Seliverstov (Institute of Volcanology); provided courtesy of KVERT.

Geologic Background. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Olga Chubarova, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC),Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/).