Report on Bezymianny (Russia) — 26 May-1 June 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 May-1 June 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Bezymianny (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 May-1 June 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
KVERT reported that some earthquakes were detected in the vicinity of Bezymianny's lava dome during 23-24 May, even though much of the seismicity was obscured by strong activity from Kliuchevskoi. Fumarolic activity was seen on 21 May. The temperature of the thermal anomaly detected in satellite imagery increased from 18 degrees Celsius on 19 May to 48.8 degrees Celsius on 23 May. The Aviation Color Code level was raised to Orange. During 21-28 May satellite data showed a variable but daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome. Fumarolic activity was occasionally detected, and another seismic event was recorded on 24 May.
Seismic data indicated that an explosive eruption began on 1 June, producing a large ash cloud about 127 by 93 km in dimension. The Aviation Color Code level was raised to Red. Further analyses showed that ash plumes from two explosions rose to altitudes of 8-10 km (26,200-32,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted at first 250 km W and then 160 km N and NE. Ashfall was reported in Kozyrevsk village, 45 km W. Two bright thermal anomalies were seen in satellite imagery, possibly from pyroclastic flow deposits. The next day, strong gas-and-steam emissions rose from the lava dome. The Aviation Color Code level was lowered to Orange.
Geologic Background. Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped 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.