Featured Volcano: Sheveluch

Today’s featured volcano is one of Kamchatka’s largest and most active volcanic centers.  It has been active recently, throwing out ash and oozing out some lava.  This volcano is a favorite for geologists and archaeological types in Kamchatka- its frequent, widespread ashfalls create nice time markers.

Sheveluch Volcano

(Also Shiveluch or in Russian: Шивелуч)

Ash plume from Sheveluch volcano on September 03, 2011.

Ash plume from Sheveluch volcano on September 03, 2011. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk.

Sheveluch at a Glance:

Located: Central Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano (both ash and lava eruptions)
Summit Elevation: 3283 m (10, 771 feet) 
Last Known Eruption: 2011 (continuing since 1999)

Most Recent Activity (Week of November 4-11, 2011):  Moderate seismic activity was detected at Shiveluch during 4-11 November, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. Ground-based observers noted that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater formed during a 2010 eruption. Strong fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed during 2-3 and 5-9 November; cloud cover prevented observations on the other days. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome and gas-and-steam plumes containing small amounts of ash that drifted 25 km E on 5 November.

What’s it doing right now? WEBCAM

Lots of lovely photos of Shiveluch

Historic large plinian eruptions:

1964  Eruption included a large-scale slope failure, small phreatic explosion and a powerful plinian eruption resulting in pyroclastic fall and flows accompanied by mudflows (lahars).  A 1.5 x 3 km explosion crater was formed during this eruption.

1854 Large eruption with explosivity index of 5

Geologic History: Shiveluch is a massif – a complex pile of overlapping stratocones, domes, lava fields and craters.  It has a history of large flank failures.  Recent Shiveluch activity includes the two large plinian eruptions above, and more than 10 moderate dome-associated events, which produced minor pyroclastic flows and ashfalls. The last eruption of this kind in May 2001 caused 30-km long lahars. Due to its frequent and large explosive eruptions, Shiveluch poses a hazard not only to the nearby towns of Kliuchi and Ust’-Kamchatsk, but also for aviation pathways between the USA and all of the Far East.

Info from KVERT and the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Network.


Kilauea Quiz Question for November

Time for the Kilauea Quiz of the Month. One lucky winner will be chosen from all the correct entries to receive a prize. Test your knowledge of Kilauea, or have a little fun looking stuff up! Tell your friends and students! Click on the button below and the quiz should pop up.

Have fun!