Report on Karymsky (Russia) — 9 December-15 December 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 December-15 December 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Karymsky (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 December-15 December 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
54.049°N, 159.443°E; summit elev. 1513 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
At 2045 on 9 December explosions at Karymsky generated ash plumes that rose 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 60 km NW, prompting KVERT to raise the Alert Level to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). Explosions continued the next day; ash plumes drifted 220 km NW, W, and SW. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on 4, 8, and 10 December.
Geologic Background. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.