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Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — 5 March-11 March 2003


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 March-11 March 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 March-11 March 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (5 March-11 March 2003)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 28 February to 7 March, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch and many shallow earthquakes were recorded. Seismic data indicated that 20 ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 4 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. Volcanic spasmodic tremor was recorded and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1 km a.s.l. Seismic data indicated that ash explosions on 4 March during 1130-1140 produced clouds to 5.5 km a.s.l. At this time a "water flow" washed away the Klyuchi-Ust'-Kamchatsk road in an area 40 km from the town of Klyuchi. The "water flow" was up to 0.7 m deep. On 6 March seismic data indicated that an explosion produced an ash cloud to 8.5 km a.s.l. During the report period, thermal anomalies were visible on satellite data. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Geological Summary. 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.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)