Possible eruption at Zvezdnoye Ozero

Image from Google Earth. Zvezdnoye Ozero (Star Lake) Caldera in the middle. Around are volcanic lakes that belong to the Zvezdnoye Volcanic Field. The volcano erupted the Chirinda Ignimbrite 600 000 years ago.

Very little is known about the volcano Zvezdnoye Ozero (Star Lake, 67D26’05’’N 102D24’26’’E) in the Kraznojarsk Kraj in Russia. It is situated in the northern end of the Siberian Traps, but is otherwise unrelated to the famous Igneous Province.

It is believed to have erupted the last time about 600 000 years ago in a caldera forming eruption when it produced the Chirinda Ignimbrites. The volcano was until recently considered to be completely extinct.

In late September a persistant and long (27 days) swarm of earthquakes consisting of more than 4 000 separate earthquakes took place ranging up to 3.1 on the local magnitude scale. Scientists from KVERT under leadership of Dr Igor Kurchatov moved to this very remote area to emplace essential equipment on orders from the GKO (Gosudarstvennyj komitet oborony).

Photograph by Dr Igor Kurchatov. In the backdrop is the village of Chirinda that lies on the edge of the Zvezdnoye Ozero (Star Lake). The village is now believed to be gone with all of its residents and the scientific team under leadership of Dr. Igor Kurchatov.

From the third of October until mid February they measured a Bradyseism causing an uplift of 190cm. Then a second swarm started on the 17th of February that has been ongoing until yesterday. During the last few days heightened levels of seismic tremor combined with elevated reading of SO2 in the Zvezdnoye Ozero. The lake had on the 30th of March turned highly acidic and the water had dropped nine meters.

The heightened activity caused President Putin to order the evacuation of the 53 nomads living in the area. See video.

Initial reports say onset of eruption was highly explosive, after the initial report to the Committee of Internal Security of the State, no further report has come from the scientists or the nomads evacuated to the nearby village.



344 thoughts on “Possible eruption at Zvezdnoye Ozero

  1. Magnitude mb 4.5
    Date time 2012-04-01 19:21:28.0 UTC
    Location 39.82 N ; 15.64 E
    Depth 260 km
    Distances 350 km SE Rome (pop 2,563,241 ; local time 21:21:28.8 2012-04-01)
    121 km SE Salerno (pop 135,054 ; local time 21:21:28.8 2012-04-01)
    14 km W Scalea (pop 10,226 ; local time 21:21:28.8 2012-04-01)

  2. Off to bed now: shleep well all. 🙂

    Just so that Bob does not feel left out so throw her toys out of the cot, especially as she has now seen what Etna can do:

    2012/04/01 03:35:27.15 27.6507 -18.1336 0.0km 1.10mbLg SW EL PINAR.IHI

    & Joke’s afternoon pictures on Earthquake Report show a gentle jacuzzi and the Salvamar Adhara

  3. Thanks for all the answers everyone. I learned loads. Can I though ask why they’re all fearing Katla more than any other Volcano? Is it because of here location? That she is so close to Vik?

    I feel it is about time for something to happen soon. And I think, from what I’ve been seeing the last 2 months that Hekla is on her way to something huge, since she’s been showing so “many” signs of an eruption. And by soon, I will say maybe within a few weeks, but that is just a wild guess. She seems stressed out in anyway!

    Any other wild guesses here?

    • Who are they? I guess you may refer to the people that go on about Katla all over cyberspace? If so, it’s a combination of irresposible journalism, ignorance and wishful thinking. When Eyjafjallajökull had her 2010 eruption a lot of people with Icelandic Professor Pall Einarsson, who has a bee in his bonnet about a link between E and K, as their main spokesperson, claimed that “an eruption of E is always followed by an eruption of K”, a claim based on two past instances where the respective eruptions were separated by approximately 1½ years.

      Then it was claimed that Katla is a far bigger and more dangerous volcano and her eruptions are far greater. Now, because of the very fine (small-grained) ash produced by Eyjafjallajökull, the effects on air traffic were rather dramatic. And as Katla was a far bigger and more dangerous volcano with much larger eruptions, the effects were going to be far more dire, correct? At least that’s what a lot of people believed.

      Finally, you have the kooks with all their end-of-the-world prophesies and conspiracy theories. Katla, a far bigger and more dangerous volcano etc which would erupt soon as vouched for by world-famous geology professor Pall Einarsson fitted their sensationalist needs perfectly. That’s my answer to your question anyway.

      • Basically I agree with you.
        But, I have to differ on one point.
        Páll might be the most misinterpreted and ill quoted man in existance. He actually never said what you think he said. It is the instance of Professor gets into the hands of Daily Fail (again). He said quite correctly that it has been two instances where an eruption of Eyja had been followed by a Katla eruption, and that there might be some kind of connection between them. This rather innocuous statement then was blown out of all proportion. At the time it was something all volcanologists with one exception (Sturkell) believed. Later data though disproved that, but at the time nobody had that data.
        Páll is the same person that spotted the 2000 Hekla eruption and missed the eruption time with 1 minute. He is probably the best volcanologist on the planet. But he should never speak to the english press… 🙂
        So nice professor was mangled by Harmageddon seekers from Daily Fail, nothing else.

        That Katla is bigger and more dangerous was a quote from the Icelandic President, not Páll. It is in a way correct. Eyjafjallajökull had a maximum event with it’s VEI-4. Katla has had at least one VEI-6 eruption (100 times larger), and at least two rifting fissure eruptions (Éldgja latest). So, yes it is far more dangerous upon occasion compared to Eyjafjallajökull.
        But, Hekla has had more VEI-6s than Katla. And will have more of them than Katla ever will. But Hekla will never have a rifting fissure eruption since it is of the wrong type.

        Will Katla have a VEI-6 this time around. Most likely not, a VEI-4 to VEI-5 perhaps. Will it rift? Most likely not. Will Hekla go Caldera? Most definitly not. Will Bárdarbunga go VEI-6? More probable than any other. Will Bárdarbunga rift? Quite large risk for that… Will the Scandian Mountains explode from the face of the earth? No. 😉
        Last paragraph is rather jokingly written… Especially the last sentence 🙂

        No Daily Fail, do not even think about it.

        • Carl, it wasn’t Daily Mail to begin with. It was RUV, MBL and the other Icelandic media. Also, Erik Klemetti was at a conference about a year ago where Professor PE reiterated his claims about the connection between Eyjafjallajökull and Katla in front of the geophysical elite. Last autumn he publicly repeated his claim that Katla was about to explode because of the link with Eyjafjallajökull and would do so before April this year.

          The man may have predicted Hekla 2000 but hey, I predicted Etnas latest paroxysm well ahead of the professionals – which does not make me the shining light of vulcanology nor a bigger man than they. I’m a fool who got lucky and Hekla 2000 is no proof of genius. Pall Einarsson does indeed have a bee in his bonnet, his theories about E & K were completely unscientific and after decades in the limelight he most definitely ought to have realised what the “gemlemen of Fleet Street” were capable and incapable of and acted accordingly.

          • I still disagree a bit. Yes he purported that theory, and might well do that still.
            But so did the rest at the time, with the sole exception of Sturkell. And I did read the original Icelandic articles too, and yes he said there was a probable connection.
            And, I seriously think that you would not fare better against the daily fail, I sure as hell would not. Only way to get it right with them would be to kill them all. If you talk they misinterpret you, if you do not talk they just write something even more ludicrous.
            And it is not exactly only Hekla he did a good job of, he also did it of Eyja (regardless of there being no connection, and of Grimsvötn).
            Henrilerevenant, everybody can be wrong about one thing, and right about one thing. It is the sum of it that counts, and Pálls sum is damned impressing.

            To be honest I do not know any volcanologist who have not been glaringly wrong somewhere. This is Pálls error. Someone somewhere (Sturkell) was right on this. To take it to my own field, I have been wrong twice (glaringly), and I was right once against all of the field (Higgs (at least so far) boson).

          • Carl, I do not deny anyone the right to be wrong on occasion, nor do I condemn anyone for being wrong. But to persist with your pet theory after it has been proven wrong meets the criteria for luncy – to make the same mistake time and time again expecting a different result. What Professor Einarsson (whose CV is exceedingly impressive) should have done is say “Unlike what I believed and publicly said at the time, there seems to be no connection between Eyjafjallajökull and Katla or if there is, for reasons unknown, it failed to manifest.”

            As for how to handle journalists, you always cover your own posterior by publishing your version, on your own website preferably, failing that through journalists you know well from previous association and trust. Journos of the Daily Yell kind, you flatly refuse to speak to, just stfu and grin when you’re labelled a grinch. If and when they misquote and/or attribute falsely, you sue. And if you are wrong and are seen to be wrong, you always admit that you were wrong. This doesn’t affect your (scientific) credibility but does wonders for public perception of your integrity as an honest person

          • herilerevenant – that is good advice for anyone who is likely to be interviewed by the press on anything. Whilst I dont expect to be in that position (ever), I work with people who are – so thanks!

    • Non scientific answer to “Why Katla?”

      Because Katla owes them. Its an ego thing. There has been so much ink invested in Katla, that has to go, or all that gnashing of teeth will have been for nothing.

      I am also invested in Katla, but I have the tumerity to admit when I’m wrong, and I haven’t had the idiocy to make a prediction. Katla will go when Katla is ready. It’s ripe, as is Hekla, and as Grimsvotn and Bardabunga also are. In essence, it’s anybodies game.

      The one hard and fast rule is that the volcano does what it wants, when it wants.

      • Agreed, once people put all their academic eggs in one basket, they tend to defend it no matter what. It is indeed an ego thing. And like you say, a volcano does what it wants, when it wants. All we can do is read the signs and, at best, make an educated or otherwise guess as to what is about to happen. The more data in the form of previous behaviour we have, the better the guess. But how boring wouldn’t it be if we knew! – “On October 21st 2073 at 11.43 p.m. Bardarbunga will have a large eruption lasting seven point three pip emma days during which 5.317 cu km of tephra and 2.604 cu km of lava will be ejected. Unfortunately, a severe storm will make direct observations impossible.”

  4. For the sake of argument.

    Every 3rd Thursday of the month, I have to go to an appointment. I get dressed and walk downstairs from my apartment and stand on the street corner. Usually, a large people mover called a bus shows up. I get on and pay my fare.

    Am I to assume that whenever I go to the corner, a bus shows up just because I am there?

    That would be preposterous. The bus will show up if I am there or not.

    Likewise, Katla erupts about every 47 years. (depending on how you work the average). Eyjafjallajökull, about every 540 years or so. Odds are, that when Eyjafjallajökull erupts, Katla has either just finished an eruptive phase, or is well on it’s way to one.

    It has been said that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. One of the most dangerous aspects of statistics, is being able to tell when the data is lying to you, and what truth (as told by the data) is the real truth.

    It is real easy for your own data and methods to convince you of something that isn’t real. Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to do a “sniff test” to see if it really makes sense.

    Is there a connection between the two? Well, the jury is still out on that. I myself have seen what may be a connective region in the quake patterns, but that doesn’t make it real. Chemically, the two magmas are different. Each carries it’s own signature of constituent elements.

    Now… about astronomical bodies.

    Vectors are mental mathematical constructs. They allow you to add two or more forces together to see what the result would be if they were to both act on an object at the same time. For example, if two pool balls, each traveling in it’s own direction strike each other, what direction would they go after a collision?

    You can dig into it by representing each pool ball with a mass, and a speed… together with a direction. The mass and speed would give you a value of kinetic energy, and with the direction of travel, you get a vector.

    The math can get hairy and tedious, so I will just point you at the law of cosines and the law of sines. All I wanted to point out is that you can add vectors to find out what the result will be.

    The Sun is the most massive body in the Solar system. At about 1.99 x10^30 kg, it dwarfs the next most massive body (Jupiter) by factor of about 1048.

    Newton’s law of universal gravitation shows that if you multiply the masses of the two bodies, then divide that by the distance between them, and then multiply that result by the Gravitational Constant, you can obtain the attractive force between the two objects.

    So… lets do that for some of the more significant masses that affect the Earth.

    This is a logarithmic scale, used only because the forces have such a wide range.

    On average, the Sun exerts 175 times the force than the Moon
    Mercury, 0.00004 times the force than the Moon
    Venus, 0.00232 times the force than the Moon
    Mars, 0.00005 times the force than the Moon
    Jupiter, 0.00528 times the force than the Moon
    Saturn, 0.00059 times the force than the Moon

    So.. when ever you see some one spouting an astronomical theory about the influences of the planets, remember just how much significance that the planets have in relation to each other.

    Your mileage may vary.

    • Had to quickly wrap the post up and go eat (wife has a stick and knows how to use it).

      All of those forces are vectors. They have an level of force, and a direction. Those that pull along the same direction are additive, those that pull in opposite directions are subtractive.

      There are also another set of forces that are at work that contribute to this whole she-bang… that of inertia. The Earth travels at a speed of about 29.3 to 30.3 km/s.

      The mass of the Earth times the velocity would be the inertia that the Earth has… that 3.5711 x10^22 Newtons of force is what bends that into a mostly circular orbit.

      Next, you have rotational inertia. In order to get really accurate with the effects you would have to account for that also.

      And now the one caveat that most loons forget… all this is in real time with constantly changing angles.

      That plot that I linked only shows the intensity of the various attractions over the next few months. Each one of those vectors pulls along a different axis.

      Can it be calculated? Yeah… but I am not touching it.. nor am I even going to try.
      Once you realize that Jupiter and the rest have about 0.00528 the effect of the Moon… well, now you are into the noise floor… brutally.

      Best-o-luck seeing how that shows up in your seismic listing or your volcano eruption.

      In a nutshell… it ain’t there.

      • Can I cut this together into a post?
        It would make us all happy to have this to point towards with our entire hand next fifty times they come spouting the same thing. And it would make Birgit happy.

    • Thank you. Yes, He might yet throw a toy or two from his submarine basket.
      The mighty Hekla added “evedence” this morning, a tiny quake (!) and increased the uncertainty factor up a level (or two) counting the “inflation” last four days. Its like watching a game of unknown sport, not knowing the score or the real rules.

    • Somebody most have been bored and marked the old volcano just for reference. Nothing going on there. And it is not on the original photo. Nothing showing on anything for Tenerife.

  5. OT

    I blame you guys.

    “Get Lurking to write…” etc.

    So I went into the astronomical stuff and opened up the files and pulled fresh data. Then as normal, I got intrigued by a nagging question and went wandering around in the data after I had found what I was originally after.

    This is the result of that.

    Extra Solar Planets are detected by a number of methods. Several have been found. One of the most successful techniques is to look at the Doppler shift in the light from distant stars over long periods of time to see if the star is wobbling around a center of mass. Originally, this was used to determine if there was a massive secondary, like a dwarf companion, neutron star or black hole in close proximity to the target star.

    If the frequency drifts back and forth in a set pattern (spectral shift) then scientists can try to model what sort of mass arrangement would cause the wobble. More advanced equipment has allowed researchers to detect planets down to about the size of Jupiter, and some researchers have claimed to have found planets as small as Earth.

    So… what would our Sun look like to an off world observer, peering back using the same methods? Could they detect the Earth in the Doppler shift of our Sun as it wobbles around the center of mass?

    Remember, the center of mass is the point that two objects orbit as they dance around each other. Combine a lot of different masses and that point is moving all over the place… hence the wobble.

    This is us. An FFT of the planetary influences on the movement of the Sun with Jupiter set as the main reference.

    This was calculated by finding the relative influence of each planet given it’s average distance and the gravitational attraction between it and the Sun.

    A sample run of 5425 years was then piped through an FFT to see who popped out… and by how much.


      • No… that is just an FFT of the cumulative forces acting on the Sun over a 5000+ year period of time.

        That is about the same signal you would get from doing an FFT of the Solar spectra as measured from another star over that long of a time period… provided you had ultimate resolution.

        • Ah, then I get it.
          Yes with an ultimate resolution (for the rest, that would be infinite bandwith on the resolution, the abillity to see it all) you would see this.
          In reallity the resolution issue is what creates problems. Larger objects has a tendency to stick out, and small disappear.
          I liked it 🙂

          • Well I understood the idea until I looked at the graph – more labels please 🙂

            ps. grrr Carl, grrr Diana, grrr Irpsit ,
            pps. grrr april 1st posts being read on april second
            perhaps you ought to change the title of the page to say – archived april fools joke possible eruption, otherwise late joiners may still get caught out?

          • More labels™?
            Even Uranus™ was labeled™. I do not know what more could be labeled™.

            Regarding newcomers getting caught? Hm, will think about changing it.
            But there is at least a new post™ up now, and believe me, almost nobody reads the old posts (sadly).

  6. Good morning .
    My only additional comment to the night’s perusing by Lurking et al.
    All the SIL’s in the area of Myrdalsjokull are showing…something.It isn’t wind. I checked that out first. Thank you IMO for your concise weather charts . http://en.vedur.is/
    Midmork is usually the least exciting graph. Wind aside it has shown some raised levels of activity.http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/mid.gif
    All round the southern edge of the glacial area the SILs are recording activity.
    Slysaalda has been in a pretty excited state for some months now and is still going strong.

    Of course there was a little activity SW of of Hekla yesterday to keep Iceland volcano watchers interested.
    The SILs at Godabunga and Smjorgil of course are recording the aftermath of eruptions…..but smjorgil especially is showing increased tremoring.

    A bit like Lurking’s bus…. there are more stops to wait and study so you see more buses which were always there even before the waiting watchers.
    I have to constantly remind myself not to get too excited on the one hand and not to pay too much attention to people who resemble The Fat Controller but do not have the wisdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fat_Controller )

    • I found this stuck in the Pending box. It has 5 links, maximum is 4.

      After releasing it from the Spam-box it must then also be released from the Pending-box. I do not know why WP requires this odious extra step.

  7. Boris has some awesome shots of Etla’s latest on his flickr account.

    From his description over on Eruptions, I think he located somewhere along this road.

    37.739071°N 15.103848°W

    And the view must have been FREAKING STUNNING!

    • Knowing Boris, do you really think the parameter “Must have stunning and unobstructed view of Etna” was not at the top of the list when he/they went house-hunting? 😉

      • unfortunately, the people living in the house right before mine placed a rather big antenna on their roof, which is held by numeros steel threads – the previous antenna had been blown down (a few days of really unobstructed view, alas) by strong wind. However, when I zoom on Etna’s summit that monster antenna is not a problem – and then, there are plenty of places with an unobstructed view at a few minutes walking distance from my home, eheheheheh

    • hahaha, you must still have had half of your brain on Katla when you wrote this comment (“Etla” instead of “Etna” – that’s one wonderful creation !!!)
      I did indeed move from my home in the village of Trecastagni to Monterosso, then Fleri, then Zafferana, then Milo, then Fornazzo, a bit up the mountain into the direction of Rifugio Citelli, and then all the way back to Monterosso from where I drove down to Santa Venerina and finally back home to Trecastagni. I have done similar tours during some of the previous paroxysms, it allows me to get a more complete idea of what’s going on.
      And yes, the view is always freaking stunning, that’s why I call these Etnean paroxysms “The Greatest Show On Earth” 😀

      • Well, we are good at creating these misspelling new volcano names. I wonder what google will do with all of those once mentioned volcanoes.

        Who knows, if your neighbours have tightened the wires enough the antenna might get pushed through their roof and you get your “Must have stunning and unobstructed view of Etna” back again.

  8. BBGN everyone, my internet was down for most of the evening and just came back, but now it is time for bed. See you all tomorrow. Have a great day everyone.

  9. <<< has lost a post……or her marbles…….off to get another coffee…….
    Now WHERE did I put that post about he activity round Myrdalsjokull?

    • Hi Termite! thanks for the heads up. Let’s see what Carl or Lurking have to say on it. Very unusual periodicity. Looks like pneumatic hammer in slow motion.
      If Boris is still around maybe he could take a look at it too.. wink .. wink..

    • Welcome, Termite – your avatar suits your name aptly! Looks a bit like drum beats to me but would need an expert to confirm.

    • Welcome Termite! 😀 I’m a beginner myself – there has been a lot of discussion about Santorini and I think the consensus is “wait and see”! But something is definitely happening.

        • There can be a lot of different sources for the signals we see. Basically the sharp jolts that look like mini earthquakes are generally rocks cracking from pressure and response to changes in the stress field. The tremor signals are generally caused by millions of bubbles coming out of solution and the passage of fluid magma in conduits (wagging). On that video from El Hierro posted on German TV this week, the diver was talking about how you could feel the tremor under water shaking your whole body like a passing train or something.
          But when you get short sharp jolts happening in such a regular sequence it very often indicates a human source (machines etc.) or somekind of resonance loop in the system like water hammer in domestic plumping.

    • Regarding the patterning, hard to say what it is. This is due to us not seeing the different frequencies. What we do know is that we do not see anything on the other stations on the island that corresponds to the timing of this pattern.
      My guess is that it is manmade. Probably from a ship. Intermittent noise from a wonky prop shaft would fit the bill, or just plain simple rust hammering while the passengers are onland.

    • Hi Termite, that rhythmic signal almost certainly is an artifact – something non-natural, like ships passing: let’s keep in mind that Santorini is a favorite destination of cruise ships, and they have huge engines that make a lot of (seismically detectable) noise. One problem with on-line seismic signals is that they often contain apparent seismic signals that are due to a number of non-seismic (or volcanic) factors: lightning, helicopters and aircraft flying nearby, heavy surf at a nearby coast, explosions in quarries, heavy traffic on a nearby road, big ships passing in a nearby sea, malfunctioning of a seismic station and so on and so on. Anyway, it’s a good thing you ask, and I believe that all those institutions that make seismic signals available on-line should give some explanation of the different types of signals you see (as they do at the Alaska Volcano Observatory). I hope that I will soon find the time to do such an explanatory section for the website that I am in charge of, of the INGV-Osservatorio Etneo in Catania.

      • This morning I read an explanatory section on the GNS site (it’s hidden under the GNS blogs section) and they stated quite bluntly “we don’t read these charts. They are just there for you.” That startled me, but how nice of them!

        • After having seen what the real volcanologists see compared to what we normally see I understand them. On “The Boris Movie” you can see in the background how much more detailed the data the INGV (in this case) can see.
          But, one thing I wish all agencies did, was to also give out a spectral plot, they do make it much easier for the layman to understand what is belonging to a volcano and not. Hint…

      • Please tell us when you have had time to do it. Would be awesome to have that as “sanity check-list” for when we get to imaginative.

  10. Woops, please forgive the spelling mistakes a dodgy keyboard was to blame, now swapped with a new one, i meant to say, ive been here from the start, and i wondered what is going on at Santorini, Lava on the move?
    I would also like to say you Guys and Girls are the Friendliest and the most knowledgeable people i have the pleasure of sharing a blog with,Many thanks

    • Santorini is slowly moving towards an eruption. There is magma moving into the system at a fairly steady rate. But I would say there is still quite some way to go before an eruption will start. Currently I would say a minimum of 3 months, but most like a year to five years. Or it might just go back to bed.
      If and when it erupts it will though be a small eruption, probably a drawn out VEI-2 with small impact locally. Nothing more.

      • I certainly agree on the size. I’m not sure about the timing either.
        I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a small eruption in the near future. Given that the signal seems to wane pretty quickly with distance (you can check out the signals from the other seismographs on the island) this signal is pretty weak or very localized, indicating an intrusion, probably near the north coast of Nea Kameni or right under the island (which would make sense). Let’s see where it goes.

  11. Thats what i was thinking too Tala, i think maybe things are starting to speed up a bit at Santorini,maybe those ships that anchor there for Hull cleaning better find somewhere else to park up for the foreseable future

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s