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Report on Tolbachik (Russia) — 5 December-11 December 2012


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 December-11 December 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Tolbachik (Russia). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 December-11 December 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (5 December-11 December 2012)



55.832°N, 160.326°E; summit elev. 3611 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

KVERT reported that the eruption from Tolbachik that began on 27 November continued through 8 December. A very large thermal anomaly on the N part of Tolbachinsky Dol, a lava plateau on the SW side of the volcano, was reported daily. Lava effused from two fissures along the W side of Tolbachinsky Dol; lava had flowed 17-20 km away from the S fissure by 7 December. Ash plumes rose less than 500 m during 1-5 December, and minor ashfall was reported in Kozyrevsk (40 km NW) and Klyuchi (65 km NW) villages on 3 December. Gas-and-steam plumes drifted 250 km SE on 5 December, and rose as high as 1 km during 7-11 December and drifted SW and W. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geological Summary. The massive Tolbachik volcano is located at the southern end of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The massif is composed of two overlapping, but morphologically distinct, volcanoes. The flat-topped Plosky Tolbachik shield volcano with its nested Holocene calderas up to 3 km in diameter is located east of the older and higher sharp-topped Ostry Tolbachik stratovolcano. The summit caldera at Plosky Tolbachik was formed in association with major lava effusion about 6,500 years ago and simultaneously with a major southward-directed sector collapse of Ostry Tolbachik. Long rift zones extending NE and SSW of the volcano have erupted voluminous basaltic lava flows during the Holocene, with activity during the past two thousand years being confined to the narrow axial zone of the rifts. The 1975-76 eruption originating from the SSW-flank fissure system and the summit was the largest historical basaltic eruption in Kamchatka.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)