Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — 12 December-18 December 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 December-18 December 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 December-18 December 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels during 7-14 December. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. during 7-9 December. Visual observations and video footage analysis indicated that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 12 December and gas-and-steam plumes rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400 ft) a.s.l. during the reporting period. Based on observations of satellite imagery, a thermal anomaly was present in the crater every day. On 18 December, KVERT reported that the number of shallow earthquakes increased from 70 on 10 December to 390 on 17 December. KVERT warned that the aviation hazard increased. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
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.