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Report on Chirinkotan (Russia) — December 2013

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 38, no. 12 (December 2013)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Chirinkotan (Russia) Gas-and-steam emissions and occasional thermal anomalies, beginning May 2013

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Chirinkotan (Russia). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 38:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201312-290260.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Chirinkotan

Russia

48.98°N, 153.48°E; summit elev. 724 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


In 1979-1980, an eruption at Chirinkotan included a series of ash explosions and a lava flow (SEAN 05:06). In October and November 1986, airborne observers saw a column of thick gas and ash, and then fumarolic activity (SEAN 12:04). This report discusses events during 2013 through April 2014. The location of Chirinkotan in the Kuril Islands is shown in figure 1.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map showing location of Chirinkotan. Courtesy of Google Earth.

According to the Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT), gas-and-steam emissions occurred frequently in 2013-2014 (table 1). The Aviation Color Code was Green on 24-25 May 2013, when emissions were first reported, but raised to Yellow during early June 2013, where it has remained through April 2014, the end of this report. The volcano was often obscured by clouds.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an M 8.3 earthquake occurred on 24 May 2013 beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, at a point is 656 km N of the volcano. The focal depth of the earthquake was ~ 600 km. The first reported gas-and-steam emission from Chirinkotan, which is in the Sea of Okhotsk, was on 24-25 May, suggesting a possible link between the two events.

Table 1. SVERT-reported dates on which gas-and-steam emissions were observed from 24 May 2013 through 30 April 2014, based on analysis of satellite images. Thermal alerts detected by SVERT and the MODVOLC satellite thermal alert system are also noted.

Date Comments
24-25 May 2013 Gas-and-steam emissions
05, 07, 09 Jun Gas-and-steam emissions
11 Jun Strong gas-and-steam emission, possibly with ash
13 Jun SVERT-reported thermal alert
16 Jun Gas-and-steam emissions
21 Jun SVERT-reported thermal alert
23 Jun Gas-and-steam emissions
03 Jul Gas-and-steam emissions
04 Jul SVERT-reported thermal alert
12 Jul Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert on 12-13 Jul
16, 18 Jul Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert
22 Jul MODVOLC thermal alert and SVERT-reported thermal alert
25 Jul Gas-and-steam emissions
29-31 Jul SVERT-reported thermal alert
02 Aug MODVOLC thermal alert
05-09 Aug Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alerts on 5, 7, and 9 Aug
12 Aug SVERT-reported thermal alert
01 Sep MODVOLC thermal alert (twice) and SVERT-reported thermal alert
28 Sep MODVOLC thermal alert
04 Oct MODVOLC thermal alert (3 pixels)
17-19 Oct Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 30-60 km SE and SVERT-reported thermal alert
21-25 Oct Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert on 24 Oct
29-31 Oct Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert
04 Nov MODVOLC thermal alert (2 pixels) and SVERT-reported thermal alert
05-06 Nov Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 55-100 km SE and  SVERT-reported thermal alerts
11 Nov MODVOLC thermal alert (2 pixels)
13 Nov MODVOLC thermal alert (2 times) and SVERT-reported thermal alert
14-15 Nov Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert
22 Nov SVERT-reported thermal alert
25 Nov Gas-and-steam emissions drifted more than 50 km SE
27 Nov MODVOLC thermal alert
01 Dec MODVOLC thermal alert (4 pixels)
02-04, 9 Dec SVERT-reported thermal alerts
11 Dec MODVOLC thermal alert
12, 15 Dec SVERT-reported thermal alerts
18 Dec Gas-and-steam emissions
25-26 Dec SVERT-reported thermal alert
09, 12, 15 Jan 2014 SVERT-reported thermal alert
17 Jan Gas-and-steam emissions and SVERT-reported thermal alert
21 Jan SVERT-reported thermal alert
08 Feb MODVOLC thermal alert and SVERT-reported thermal alert
09 Feb Gas-and-steam emissions
12, 15 Feb SVERT-reported thermal alerts
16 Feb Gas-and-steam emissions
20, 25 Feb SVERT-reported thermal alert
27 Feb Gas-and-steam emissions
04 Mar SVERT-reported thermal alert
07 Mar MODVOLC thermal alert
08 Mar MODVOLC thermal alert (2 times, 3 pixels on Terra satellite)
12 Mar Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 80 km SE and MODVOLC thermal alert
17 Mar MODVOLC thermal alert
20 Mar Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 80 km SE
21-24 Mar Gas-and-steam emissions
26 Mar Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 80 km SE
27 Mar Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 170 km SE
09 Apr Gas-and-steam emissions drifted 170 km SE
14, 15, 17 Apr SVERT-reported thermal alert
20, 25, 27 Apr Gas-and-steam emissions
29 Apr SVERT-reported thermal alert

Geologic Background. The small, mostly unvegetated 3-km-wide island of Chirinkotan occupies the far end of an E-W volcanic chain that extends nearly 50 km W of the central part of the main Kuril Islands arc. It is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises 3000 m from the floor of the Kuril Basin. A small 1-km-wide caldera about 300-400 m deep is open to the SW. Lava flows from a cone within the breached crater reached the shore of the island. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Lava flows were observed by the English fur trader Captain Snow in the 1880s.

Information Contacts: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) (URL in English: http://www.imgg.ru/?id_d=659); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); and Earthquake Hazards Program, US Geological Survey (URL: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/).