The Kamtchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported an eruption on Mount Klyuchevskoi, a 4750, stratovolcano (cone-shaped volcano made up of successive layers of ash and lava), on the central Kamchatka Peninsula, on Thursday 21 December 2017, which produced a column of ash and steam that rose to 7 km above sealevel and drifted 68 km to the east. The volcano had been inactive for most of this year, but began to produce emissions on 2 December, and underwent smaller eruptions on the fifth, seventh and thirteenth of the month.
Satelite image showing a plume of ash over Mount Klyuchevskoi on 21 December 2017. Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership/Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite/NASA/Volcano Discovery.
Mount Klyuchevskoi is part of the Klyuchevskoi Volcano Group in the Ust-Kamchatka (East Kamchatka) District, along with mounts Bezymianny and Kamen. 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 fuelling the volcanoes of southern Kamchatka.
Simple diagram showing the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Okhotsk Plate along the Kuril Kamchatka Trench. The Kamchatka Peninsula is at the top of the diagram. Auburn University.
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