Images Show Active, Glacier-Covered Volcanoes in the Russian Far East

This week’s Photo Friday features two restless, glacier-covered volcanoes in Kamchatka, a peninsula lying on the Pacific coast of the Russian Far East.

The alert level for the Sheveluch and Ebeko volcanoes is currently code orange, meaning they are exhibiting “heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption” or a volcanic eruption is underway with “no or minor ash emission,” according to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT).

The volcanoes could potentially emit ash plumes, which would impact a nearby airport as well as low-altitude domestic aircraft and international flights. Over 700 planes, transporting thousands of passengers, fly in the vicinity of Kamchatka’s volcanoes each day, according to KVERT.

NASA satellite imagery of the Sheveluch Volcano. Red areas are hot spots related to lava flows. (Source: NASA)

Eruptions of glacier-covered volcanoes, such as Sheveluch and Ebeko, can create lahars, or mudflows, which sometimes threaten nearby communities. Lahars occur when hot water and eruption debris mixes with glacial water.

Sheveluch is one of the most active volcanoes in the region. Ash plumes are seen traveling south-east and then eastwards in this image from 2012. (Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight/Flickr)
Ebeko erupted in September 2018 and has remained restless ever since. (Source: amanderson2/Flickr)
A small explosion crater is seen at one of Ebeko’s three summits. Craters form when volcanoes erupt, emptying out magma and leaving a circular depression. (Source: Rdfr/Wikimedia Commons)

Kamchatka is home to 160 volcanoes, 29 of which are currently active and six of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.

RELATED: Debris-Covered Glaciers Advance in Remote Kamchatka

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