Mount Karymsky, a stratovolcano (cone-shaped volcano) on the Kamchatka Peninsula considered to be Russia's most active volcano, underwent a series of eruptions on Monday 31 March 2014, the largest of which produced a 2.1 km high ash column that drifted 50 km to the southeast, according to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, which has issued a warning to aviation. The volcano has undergone a series of eruptions since the beginning of March, having been relatively quiet throughout February. It's previous eruptive cycle lasted from December 2013 into January this year. Despite frequent major eruptions Karymsky presents little threat to human life, due to its remote location on the sparsely populated Kamchatka Peninsula.
Archive photograph of a small eruption on Mount Karymsky. Alexander Belousov.
The Kamchatka Peninsula lies on the eastern edge of the Okhotsk Plate, close to its margin with the Pacific and North American Plates. The Pacific Plate is being subducted along the margin, and as it does so it passes under the southern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and as it does so is partially melted by the friction and the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying Okhotsk Plate as magma and fueling the volcanoes of southern Kamchatka.
The approximate location of Mount Karymsky. Google Maps.
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