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Report on Bezymianny (Russia) — July 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 7 (July 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Bezymianny (Russia) 26 July 2003 ash plume to 8-11 km altitude

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Bezymianny (Russia) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200307-300250



55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to visual observation from the city of Klyuchi by Yu. Demyanchuk, a large explosive eruption of Bezymianny began at 2120 on 26 July 2003; a later report from KVERT (Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team) indicated that the eruption began at 2057. An ash plume rose up to 8-11 km and extended to the W, WNW, and SW. A large pyroclastic flow probably formed.

Prior to the eruption, a weak thermal anomaly was noted on satellite images from 6 July. Two shallow earthquakes of M 1.8 registered on 23 and 25 July.

Satellite data revealed plumes extending WNW at 2122 and 2300 on 26 July, to distances of 31 km and 86 km, respectively. Longer plumes were reported on 27 July to 192 km at 0305 and 217 km at 0445. At 1102 on 27 July, an 8-pixel thermal anomaly was observed with a temperature of 31°C on a background of 10°C. The ash cloud was ~250-300 km W of the vent. At 1258 that day a 5-pixel thermal anomaly was noted with a temperature of 50°C on a background of 35°C. The ash cloud was unchanged, and was also detected at 1325. At 1240 probable pyroclastic deposits were identified on the SE flank.

Satellite observations also noted that at 2058 on 27 July, a 10-pixel thermal anomaly yielded a temperature of 29°C on a background of 9°C. At 0246 on 28 July a 2-to 6-pixel thermal anomaly yielded a temperature of 33°C on a background of 5°C. At 2216 there was a 1-pixel thermal anomaly without accompanying ash. At 0246 and 0715 on 28 July, 2-to 6-pixel thermal anomalies were noted, with temperatures of 33° and 39°C on a background of 5° and 16°C, respectively. No ash was recorded for either event.

No seismicity was registered on 27-30 July, and no visual information was available because of meteorological clouds. Thermal anomalies of 1-to 3-pixels with a temperature of 16-25°C on backgrounds from -3° to 5° C, were observed on 28-29 July, 31 July, and 1 August. No seismicity was registered from 31 July-3 August, in part because of the seismicity due to a large volcanic tremor at nearby Klyuchevskoy. According to visual data, gas-steam plumes extended ~15 km to the NW on 2 August. Clouds obscured the volcano on other days.

Geological Summary. The modern Bezymianny, much smaller than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, was formed about 4,700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an edifice built about 11,000-7,000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3,000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1,000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large open crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Information Contacts: Olga Girina, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), a cooperative program of the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia, the Kamchatka Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department (KEMSD), GS RAS (Russia), and the Alaska Volcano Observatory (USA); Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.