Photo Friday: Eruption at a Glacier Volcano in Russia

Klyuchevskoy, a glacier-covered volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia, is erupting. The volcano, 4,750 meters in elevation, has had a history of extensive activity over the last 7,000 years. It has been emitting gas, ash and lava since April 3. Several organizations are closely monitoring its eruption. They note that ash explosions reaching 6 to 8 kilometers in height could occur at any time, affecting flights from Asia to Europe and  North America. Local impacts could also be extensive.

KVERT, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, posted an update about Klyuchevskoy’s eruption today

“Explosive-effusive eruption of the volcano continues: there are bursts of volcanic bombs to 200-300 m above the summit crater and up to 50 m above the cinder cone into Apakhonchich chute, and strong gas-steam activity of two volcanic centers with emission of different amounts of ash, the effusing of lava flows along Apakhonchich chute at the south-eastern flank of the volcano. According to the video data, an intensification of the eruption was noted on 06 July: strong explosions sent ash up to 7.5 km a.s.l. According to satellite data by KVERT, a large bright thermal anomaly in the area of the volcano was observed all week, ash plumes drifted for about 350 km to the southwest, south and southeast from the volcano on 02-05 July; and dense ash plumes drifted for about 400 km to the southeast and east from the volcano on 06-07 July.”

Enjoy these striking photos of Klyuchevskoy’s eruption and glaciated peaks below.

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Photo Friday: Volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula

The Kamchatka Peninsula, located in remote Far East Russia, is part of the “Ring of Fire” and is known for its volcanic activity. The 102,400 square mile region has the highest concentration of active volcanoes in the world.

The Kamchatka Peninsula captured by the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
(Photo credit MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.)

The Klyuchevskoy volcano is one of the seven active glacier-capped volcanoes in the remote region. At a towering 4,835 meters, the Klyuchevskoy, the area’s tallest volcano, is known for its beauty and symmetry.

Photograph of Klyuchevsky taken July 2006 (Wikimedia Commons)
Klyuchevskoy, as seen on July 2006. (Wikimedia Commons.)

Considered Kamchatka’s most active volcano, Klyuchevskoy has the likely potential to erupt and is currently listed as code orange. The volcano’s current lava flows still are no match for the 1994 eruption, which sent volcanic ash nine miles high into the atmosphere.

1994 eruption of the Klyuchevsky Volcano, taken by NASA
(Photo credit NASA.)

Over the past three decades, satellites have captured many eruptions within the Kamchatka Peninsula, like the 1994 eruption of Klyuchevskoy, seen here. In January of 2013, four volcanoes—Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Tolbachik, and Kizimen — erupted at the same time.

Ash plume over Shiveluch, one of the four volcanoes to erupt on january 1, 2013. (NASA)
Ash plume over Shiveluch, one of the four volcanoes that erupted January 2013. (Photo credit NASA.)

In 2010 a unique photograph of the region was taken from the International Space Station, providing a unique perspective of the glacier-capped volcanoes.

Kamchatka Peninsula as seen from the International Space Station (NASA)
Kamchatka Peninsula as seen from the International Space Station. (Photo credit NASA.)
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