Logo link to homepage

Report on Kizimen (Russia) — 14 December-20 December 2011


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Kizimen (Russia) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 December-20 December 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (14 December-20 December 2011)



55.131°N, 160.32°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

KVERT reported increased seismic activity at Kizimen during 9-16 December. A series of strong seismic events were detected during 0547-0628 on 14 December. Explosions possibly produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 7.5 km (24,600 ft) a.s.l. Video observations showed hot avalanches from the lava flow and occasional large pyroclastic flows. During 0620-0810 a large pyroclastic flow with co-ignimbrite clouds was observed. Satellite images showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano all week and a gas-and-steam plume with ash from the pyroclastic flows that drifted 150 km during 13-14 December. A large lava flow on the NE and E flanks continued to effuse. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 December an eruption detected in satellite imagery produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 6.1-7.6 km (20-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Subsequent notices stated that ash emissions which continued later that day dissipated on 15 December.

Geological Summary. Kizimen is an isolated, conical stratovolcano that is morphologically similar to St. Helens prior to its 1980 eruption. The summit consists of overlapping lava domes, and blocky lava flows descend the flanks of the volcano, which is the westernmost of a volcanic chain north of Kronotsky volcano. The 2334-m-high edifice was formed during four eruptive cycles beginning about 12,000 years ago and lasting 2000-3500 years. The largest eruptions took place about 10,000 and 8300-8400 years ago, and three periods of long-term lava dome growth have occurred. The latest eruptive cycle began about 3000 years ago with a large explosion and was followed by intermittent lava dome growth lasting about 1000 years. An explosive eruption about 1100 years ago produced a lateral blast and created a 1.0 x 0.7 km wide crater breached to the NE, inside which a small lava dome (the fourth at Kizimen) has grown. Prior to 2010, only a single explosive eruption, during 1927-28, had been recorded in historical time.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)