Saturday 12 December 2015

Eruptions on Mount Zhupanovsky.

The Kamtchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported explosive eruptions on Mount Zhupanovsky on Friday 27 and Monday 30 November 2015, with ash columns reaching 6-7 km above the summit of the volcano and  drifted about 300 km to the east and southeast, as well as a pyroclastic flow (avalanche of hot gas and ash) on the 30th which reached 15.5 km along the southern flank of the volcano.

Ash column over Mount Zhupanovsky on 30 November 2015. N Timonkina/Institute of Volcanology and Seismology at the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Zhupanovsky is an elongated volcanic complex on the southeast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, comprising four overlapping stratovolcanoes (cone shaped volcanoes) in a line running roughly east to west. Three of these volcanoes date from the Pleistocene, with the easternmost being a Holocene structure upon which all recorded historical eruptions have occurred. This volcano probably began erupting between 7000 and 5000 years ago. The current phase of eruptive activity began in October 2013, prior to which it had been inactive since the 1950s.

The approximate location of Mount Zhupanovsky. Google Maps.

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.

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