Report on Sheveluch (Russia) — 23 December-29 December 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Sheveluch (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2020. 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 a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 18-25 December. Two strong explosive events on 22 and 24 December generated large ash clouds that rose as high as 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 625 km E. The Aviation Color Code was briefly raised to Red (the highest level on a four-color scale) on 22 December, but then was lowered back to 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.