The Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team has reported an eruption on Mount Ebeko, a 1156 m volcano on the northern end of Paramushir Island in the Kuril Archipelago, on Saturday 24 February 2018. The eruption produced an ash column about 2 km high, and led to ashfalls in the town of Severo-Kurilsk. A warning has been issued to aviation in the area. Ebeko is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril group, with frequent small eruptions and lava flows, though large eruptions are unusual.
The approximate location of Mount Ebeko. Google Maps.
The Kuril Archipelago runs from the northwestern tip of Hokkaido to the southern tip of the Kamtchatka Peninsula. It marks the southern margin of the Okhotsk Plate, which underlies the Sea of Okhotsk, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island and Tōhoku and Hokkaidō in Japan. Along this southern margin the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Okhotsk Plate in the Kuril Trench. As the Pacific Plate sinks under the Okhotsk Plate it is partial melted by the resultant friction and the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of the melted material then rises up through the overlying Okhotsk Plate as magma, fuelling the volcanoes of the Kuril Archipelago.
Simple diagram showing the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Okhotsk Plate along the Kuril Trench. Auburn University.
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