Karymsky Volcano, Kamchatkan Peninsula, Russia

Update 001

From: avo-sci@tardaddy.wr.usgs.gov
Subject: Karymsky Volcano
Monday, January 1, 1996 2330 AST (J002, 0830 UTC)

An explosive eruption occurred at Karymsky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula beginning late yesterday afternoon or evening according to seismic activity recorded by Russian scientists; Russian aviation sources reported an ash plume to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) above sea level at approximately 1130 KST (Julian day 001, 2330 UTC). Based on a satellite image at 0200 UTC, the plume had extended at least 200 km (120 miles) southeast and south of the volcano. The National Weather Service has issued several SIGMETS concerning the ash plume.

Karymsky volcano is one of the more active volcanoes in Kamchatka having erupted over 20 times in the past 200 years although it has been relatively quiet since 1982 following a decade of frequent eruptive activity. Periods of seismic unrest have occurred several times in the past 12 months and the volcano emits a continuous steam plume. The volcano is capable of explosive eruptions which can send ash to over 10 km (33,000 feet ASL) and continue sporadically for days or weeks; short lava flows are also a possibility. The volcano is located in a remote part of the Kamchatka Peninsula about 110 km (70 miles) northwest of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and no towns or villages are threatened. The chief hazard at this time would appear to be encounters between airborne volcanic ash and aircraft.

AVO will continue to monitor the situation in cooperation with the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

NOTE: Due to the partial shutdown of the Federal Government, the Alaska Volcano Observatory is currently operating with reduced staff. However, we continue to seismically monitor Spurr, Redoubt, Iliamna, and Augustine volcanoes. A computerized alarm system is capable of notifying AVO seismologists during non-business hours should unusual seismic activity occur.

Terry Keith is out of the office until January 8, 1996. Tina Neal is the Acting Scientist-in-Charge and can be reached at 786-7456 (office), 277-6575 (home), or tneal@usgs.gov (Internet).


John C. Eichelberger                            Terry E.C. Keith
Geophysical Institute                           U.S. Geological Survey
University of Alaska                            4200 University Drive
Fairbanks, AK  99775                            Anchorage, AK  99508-4667
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FAX= (907) 474-5618                             FAX= (907) 786-7425