Sunday 17 September 2017

Eruption on Mount Zhupanovsky, Kamchatka Peninsula.

The Kamtchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported an eruption on Mount Zhupanovsky, a 2923 m volcano on the southern Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. The eruption produced an gas column that rose 4 km above the volcano, and prompted the Response Team to raise the alert level around the volcano, and the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center to issue a warning to aviation.

The approximate location of Mount Zhupanovsky. Google Maps.

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 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 Kuril Kamchatka Trench, to the east and south of the peninsula, 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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