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Zavodovski

Photo of this volcano
  • United Kingdom
  • South Sandwich Volcanic Arc
  • Composite | Stratovolcano
  • 2016 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Province
  • Landform | Volc Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 56.3°S
  • 27.57°W

  • 551 m
    1808 ft

  • 390130
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 29 June-5 July 2016 Citation IconCite this Report

On 30 March an eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island. A photo showed bombs being ejected from the crater. One of the world’s largest (if not the largest) penguin colonies resides on the E side of the island and is home to 690,000 breeding pairs. The eruption occurred during molting season in March, when penguins stay ashore. A satellite image captured in May showed an eruption plume coming through the clouds.

Source: Peter Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey, personal communication


Most Recent Bulletin Report: February 2017 (BGVN 42:02) Citation IconCite this Report

Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016

Remote Zavodovski Island, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, 570 km SE of South Georgia Island. The basaltic stratovolcano on the island, known as Mount Curry, has a large lava platform extending east from two parasitic cones on the side of the main edifice. Steam emissions from the summit have been observed by researchers, fishing vessels, and tourists who visit the island to see the population of over one million chinstrap penguins. The only confirmed historical eruption was that observed in 1819 by the Russian explorer Bellingshausen. In early July 2016, a photograph of ash and steam emitting from the volcano was released by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While steam plumes have been observed emitting from Mt. Curry on a number of occasions, observations of volcanic ash had not been documented in modern times until June 2016. The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere on 27 April 2012 (figure 1). Aerosol particles from the volcano are key to the formation of clouds, but whether they are derived from steam plumes, magmatic gases, or volcanic ash is unclear from this image.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. In this image that includes Zavodovski Island taken on 27 April 2012, NASA scientists interpret the sulfate aerosols from the volcano as sufficient to seed clouds in the air masses passing over the island. Note how the plume stretching north is brighter than the surrounding clouds, a result of the small aerosol particle size and the numerous small water droplets that form around them. The smaller droplets provide more surfaces to reflect light. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit, shown in their expedition report to the SGSSI Government (figure 2). Additional NASA MODIS satellite images of white plumes issuing from Mount Curry were captured by the South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog in January and December 2015, but are inconclusive as to the presence of volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Puffs of steam emerge at regular intervals from Mount Curry on Zavodovski Island in January 2015 when photographed by a BBC filming crew that spent 14 days on the island. View taken by UAV from the SW side of the island. Courtesy of SGSSI Government (BBC "One Planet" – Post-expedition report - Zavodovski Island 2015).

The plumes in 2016 first appeared in images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess. Images from 1 and 13 June 2016 also show white gas plumes. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016. A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Mt. Curry on Zavodovski island emitting ash and steam plumes during June 2016. Courtesy of British Antarctic Survey. Photo by fishing observer David Virgo.

Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash. On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.

Frequent satellite images of white plumes issuing from Zavodovski were captured in satellite images during the rest of 2016. On 29 August a white plume was drifting NE. Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions. On 1 November a grayish white plume was observed drifting E; on 19 and 20 November and 6 December white plumes were observed. A grayish-white plume was captured on 9 December drifting SSW, and on 17 December a large white plume was drifting SE.

References: BBC, 2015, BBC Natural History Unit filming expedition to Zavodovski Island, a report to the commissioners office, South Georgia Government, posted at www.gov.gs.

Information Contacts: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/ , https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/penguin-colonies-at-risk-from-erupting-volcano/); Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic (URL: http://www.gov.gs/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog (URL: http://southsandwichmonitoring.blogspot.com/).

Weekly Reports - Index


2016: June


29 June-5 July 2016 Citation IconCite this Report

On 30 March an eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island. A photo showed bombs being ejected from the crater. One of the world’s largest (if not the largest) penguin colonies resides on the E side of the island and is home to 690,000 breeding pairs. The eruption occurred during molting season in March, when penguins stay ashore. A satellite image captured in May showed an eruption plume coming through the clouds.

Source: Peter Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey, personal communication


Bulletin Reports - Index

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

02/2017 (BGVN 42:02) Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


February 2017 (BGVN 42:02) Citation IconCite this Report

Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016

Remote Zavodovski Island, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, 570 km SE of South Georgia Island. The basaltic stratovolcano on the island, known as Mount Curry, has a large lava platform extending east from two parasitic cones on the side of the main edifice. Steam emissions from the summit have been observed by researchers, fishing vessels, and tourists who visit the island to see the population of over one million chinstrap penguins. The only confirmed historical eruption was that observed in 1819 by the Russian explorer Bellingshausen. In early July 2016, a photograph of ash and steam emitting from the volcano was released by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While steam plumes have been observed emitting from Mt. Curry on a number of occasions, observations of volcanic ash had not been documented in modern times until June 2016. The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere on 27 April 2012 (figure 1). Aerosol particles from the volcano are key to the formation of clouds, but whether they are derived from steam plumes, magmatic gases, or volcanic ash is unclear from this image.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. In this image that includes Zavodovski Island taken on 27 April 2012, NASA scientists interpret the sulfate aerosols from the volcano as sufficient to seed clouds in the air masses passing over the island. Note how the plume stretching north is brighter than the surrounding clouds, a result of the small aerosol particle size and the numerous small water droplets that form around them. The smaller droplets provide more surfaces to reflect light. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit, shown in their expedition report to the SGSSI Government (figure 2). Additional NASA MODIS satellite images of white plumes issuing from Mount Curry were captured by the South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog in January and December 2015, but are inconclusive as to the presence of volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Puffs of steam emerge at regular intervals from Mount Curry on Zavodovski Island in January 2015 when photographed by a BBC filming crew that spent 14 days on the island. View taken by UAV from the SW side of the island. Courtesy of SGSSI Government (BBC "One Planet" – Post-expedition report - Zavodovski Island 2015).

The plumes in 2016 first appeared in images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess. Images from 1 and 13 June 2016 also show white gas plumes. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016. A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Mt. Curry on Zavodovski island emitting ash and steam plumes during June 2016. Courtesy of British Antarctic Survey. Photo by fishing observer David Virgo.

Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash. On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.

Frequent satellite images of white plumes issuing from Zavodovski were captured in satellite images during the rest of 2016. On 29 August a white plume was drifting NE. Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions. On 1 November a grayish white plume was observed drifting E; on 19 and 20 November and 6 December white plumes were observed. A grayish-white plume was captured on 9 December drifting SSW, and on 17 December a large white plume was drifting SE.

References: BBC, 2015, BBC Natural History Unit filming expedition to Zavodovski Island, a report to the commissioners office, South Georgia Government, posted at www.gov.gs.

Information Contacts: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/ , https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/penguin-colonies-at-risk-from-erupting-volcano/); Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic (URL: http://www.gov.gs/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog (URL: http://southsandwichmonitoring.blogspot.com/).

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 2 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

2016 Mar 30 - 2016 Jun 15 ± 15 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 1

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Summit crater
2016 Mar 30 - 2016 Jun 15 ± 15 days Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 24 Events for Episode 1 at Summit crater

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
2012 Apr 27    - - - - Degassing The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere (figure 1, BGVN 42:02).
2015 Jan 1
(in or after)
2015 Jan 31
(in or before)
Degassing The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - Explosion An eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - Ash Plume An eruption at Zavodovski was reported and photographed by observers on a fishing vessel, as well as captured by a satellite image. A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - Ashfall A small ash plume drifted E, producing ashfall on 1/3 to 1/2 of the island.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - Bombs A photo showed bombs being ejected from the crater.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - Degassing Plumes in 2016 first appeared in satellite images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess.
2016 Mar 30    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index) VEI 1
2016 Apr 7    - - - - Degassing Plumes in 2016 first appeared in satellite images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess.
2016 May 1
(in or after)
2016 May 31
(in or before)
Eruption cloud A satellite image captured in May showed an eruption plume coming through the clouds.
2016 Jun 1    - - - - Degassing Satellite images from 1 and 13 June 2016 show white gas plumes.
2016 Jun 1
(in or after)
2016 Jun 30
(in or before)
Ash Plume A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3, BGVN 42:02). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.
2016 Jun 1
(in or after)
2016 Jun 30
(in or before)
Bombs A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016. The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.
2016 Jun 13    - - - - Degassing Satellite images from 1 and 13 June 2016 show white gas plumes.
2016 Jul 6    - - - - Observation The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016.
2016 Jul 6
(in or before)
   - - - - Ashfall Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash.
2016 Jul 20
(in or before)
   - - - - Ash Plume On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.
2016 Aug 29    - - - - Degassing A white plume was drifting NE.
2016 Sep 17 2016 Oct 10 Degassing Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions.
2016 Nov 1    - - - - Degassing A grayish white plume was observed drifting E.
2016 Nov 19 2016 Nov 20 Degassing White plumes were observed.
2016 Dec 6    - - - - Degassing White plumes were observed.
2016 Dec 9    - - - - Degassing A grayish-white plume was captured drifting SSW.
2016 Dec 17    - - - - Degassing A large white plume was drifting SE.

[ 1908 Nov ] Uncertain Eruption

Episode 1 | Uncertain Episode
1908 Nov - Unknown Evidence from Unknown
 Possibly only fumarolic activity.

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Fumarolic or Solfataric Uncertain
1908 Nov    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

[ 1830 Sep ] Uncertain Eruption

Episode 1 | Uncertain Episode
1830 Sep - Unknown Evidence from Unknown
 Possibly only fumarolic activity.

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Fumarolic or Solfataric Uncertain
1830 Sep    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

[ 1823 ] Uncertain Eruption

Episode 1 | Uncertain Episode
1823 - Unknown Evidence from Unknown
 Possibly only fumarolic activity.

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Fumarolic or Solfataric Uncertain
1823    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1819 Dec Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1819 Dec - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 2 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
1819 Dec    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Zavodovski.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Zavodovski.

GVP Map Holdings

Maps are not currently available due to technical issues.

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Zavodovski in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

External Sites