Activity update on Shiveluch volcano


Aqua/Modis (NASA) image from 11 June 2014.

Aqua/Modis (NASA) image from 11 June 2014.

The volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) Tokyo issued a warning this morning for ash hazard up to FL270 (8.2 km) extending south-west which by now has dissipated. KVERT has the volcano on orange alert and estimated the height of the ash plume to 13120-16400 ft (4-5 km) above sea level. The plume was barely visible on todays Aqua/Modis (NASA) image.

KVERT also reports that the growth of the lava dome continues, accompanied by moderate ash explosions, fumarolic activity, incandescence of the dome summit and hot avalanches.

On his blog Peter Webley shows an animation of the eruption seen on the EMSD webcam located about 50 km south-west of Shiveluch in the town Klyuchi.

As I am writing there are several columns of steam or smoke rising from the southern base of the volcano seen on the KVERT webcams. My personal impression is that they arise from the border a fresh avalanche or lava flow, but they might as well be from, as KVERT wrote, fumarolic activity or something unrelated to volcanic activity.

Webcam screenshot from 11 June 2014 from

Webcam screenshot from 11 June 2014 from

Looking at earthquakes under the Kliuchevskaya, or northern or group of volcanoes one can see almost continuous activity at 30 km depth under Kliuchevskoy which appears to be the major source feeding the conduits to the volcanic edifices.

One year of earthquakes under the Kliuchevskaya group of volcanoes. Image from

One year of earthquakes under the Kliuchevskaya group of volcanoes. Image from

Below Shiveluch the seismicity of the past month does not seem out of the ordinary viewed at this level of detail:

Seismicity of the past month under the Kliuchevskaya group of volcanoes. Image from

Seismicity of the past month under the Kliuchevskaya group of volcanoes. Image from

For further reading and background information I highly recommend reading Ukviggen´s “Shiveluch, the bad boy of Kamchatka” and part two again. And for the tectonic background read Sa´ke´s post about the Central Kamchatka Depression. Also check out KVERT´s image gallery.



Friday, the 13th riddles


1. Carl walks the line out to sea, but did you know he’s a saint + image? Answer: San Carlos, on the Cameroon line, which extends from Africa to the Atlantic, Equatorial Guinea, Sissel, 2 points. 

2. Norway’s last stand. Answer: Beerenberg on Jan Mayen. After Germany invaded Norway, a couple of Norwegian meteorologists on the island refused to surrender. KarenZ, 2 points, mikegrimsvotn 1 bonus point for not spoiling the fun!

3. Digging for carrots in Arkansas?  It’s the only place you can do so! Answer: Crater of Diamonds volcanic pipe.
It has a state park on top, where you can dig for them. It is the only public diamond “mine” in the world. It’s also interesting, because it’s NOT kimberlite. Agimarc, 2 points. 

4. I had an intrusion in 2009, but no eruption. Alhamdulillah! Answer: Harrat Lunayyir. Sissel, 2 points. 

5.The gods were frightened by a moon as bright as the sun. No soybeans were harmed, though! Answer: Tofua volcano, Tofua Island, Haápai Group, Tonga. See for the story, Evan Chugg, 2 points. 

Score board
18 Sissel
11 KarenZ
10 Inannamoon667
8 Kelda
6 Shérine France
5 Dinojura44
4 Evan Chugg
2 Alison
2 Bobbi
2 Stephanie Alice Halford
1 Diana Barnes
1 Edward



127 thoughts on “Activity update on Shiveluch volcano

  1. off topic but back on topic 🙂
    I was talking to this chat bot that singularly failed to pass a turing test in it’s chat with me – and it asked me what I wanted to talk about, I said volcanoes which it said was unusual. I was getting nowhere and so eventually I asked it a more direct question “what is the nearest volcano to odessa” it suggested I already knew – which I didn’t so I checked wikipedia and ‘volcanoes in ukraine’ only lists and that is not very informative, so I tried a search to find out what the Kara Dag Mountain was made of – there may be a seperate mountain called karadag elsewhere (not sure) but I eventually found this article which I think is quite interesting. and I thought I’d share here 🙂

    • oh yes that link is titled
      Meijers, M.J.M., et al., Jurassic arc volcanism on Crimea (Ukraine): Implications for the paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region, Lithos (2010)

  2. Hello all! Thanks KarenZ for your interesting article on Batu Tara, and thanks Chryphia for this Sheveluch update!

    Concerning the fumaroles at the foot of Sheveluch – I have watched them for weeks now, and have even taken some screenshots and photoshopped them to see better the source of considerable amounts of steam a while ago. They appear to be exactly that, quite active fumaroles, always there. –

    Aaand Kverkfjöll this morning 9 o’clock:

  3. Thank you Chryphia Nice update.
    Just to alert everyone that Nautilus Live diving season has started. At present in the Florida straits and as well as looking at Biodiversity they are also looking for geological evidence of seismic activities . Looks reall interesting. Too bad I will soon be away from my PC and probably won’t be able to get this on my Kindle. I hope I can stay in touch with you all when I get down to Brighton on Monday.
    Trying to get the house ship shape for Husband’s two or three weeks on his own. He says he’s planning parties!. 😀

  4. Elutriation , is a process for separating particles based on their size, shape and density, using a stream of gas or liquid flowing in a direction usually opposite to the direction of sedimentation. This video shows an “elutriation pipe” in the recent pyroclastic flow deposit from Santiaguito (Santa Maria), something I have not seen or heard of before.

    • Also referred to as gas segregation pipes. Lockwood and Hazlett discuss them a little bit, saying the hot gases sinter the surrounding ash making them more resistant to erosion. This explains some of the bizarre erosional forms you get in ignimbrite. Not sure if I have chosen a good example here but these land forms at La Garita might be caused by this (someone please correct me if I am wrong):

    • PS the guys at Santiaguito are really setting the benchmark on getting close to dangerous stuff. Started with those crazy Dutch guys at the summit.. This is getting to be something of a tradition there!

      • Since you brought it up, here is that video.

        In the comments the son of one of the experienced climbers who died on the mountain writes: “It is Stupidity to do such things. Please do not take this as a tourism. dont climb it.”
        In another video the people break out in uncontrollable laughter over the static electricity they feel at their finger tips. “Show me a fearful face!”…sounds like famous last words….sheesh.

          • Hi been waiting on my computer repair.
            In the shop. Repair geek is out of town on
            Family emergency until the 23rd (of June,I
            hope.) Sometime back I referred to my neighbor and his spaw,er, kid placing a small propane bottle near the Barbie, and while the steaks cooked off so did the propane well pappy darn near burnt down the whole block!!!! (cont)

    • Yes, chemical engineering and volcanoes have a lot in common.
      I designed such systems to remove fine particles from used ion exchange resin, but using water.

  5. So I was looking through Shiveluch’s eruptions since it’s an incredibly active volcano. My goal was to approximate the cumulative volume of ejecta in the last 10,000 years since I figured a volcano with so many large eruptions (vei-5) should have a pretty incredible output.

    Turns out that of the combined 60+ large eruptions, it still was no larger than a large sized VEI-6 eruption. Definitely puts the fact that the VEI scale is logarithmic into some perspective.

  6. Nearly all volcanoes around the hotspot had earthquakes today and yesterday. Hofsjokull or Tungnafellsjokull, Bardarbunga (quakes along the NE fissure swarm, and Hamarinn), Askja and surroundings, Kverfjoll, Grimsvotn and companions to the SW, Oraefajokull, and quakes in between the last two.

      • Probably got a cease and desist from a sports jerk company.

        The video showed Brazil’s “own goal”. They made it up and won I think.

        On that note, The Military Junta in Thailand made arrangements to have the shindig broadcast to their public for free. Part of their “Be Happy” campaign.

    • (snicker) Good One!

      But I doubt many will get it other than me. “Radical” theory, and the principle method of hydration is via OH inclusion in the structure…..

  7. Memory lapse here. A few articles ago I wrote in a comment about a paper that was recently published giving a method to factor large numbers to crack encryptions such as RSA and PGP.
    In it I gave a link to the paper… But now I can’t find it. Could someone help out?

  8. I’m so glad that one specific spot on the Iceland map has calmed down. I don’t want to wake up the area east of Dreki so I’m not going to name it. I’m sure many of you know what I mean and what volcano it is. Some relief there. Phew

  9. OMG – I’ve been trying to figure out how the image of a wig has anything to do with clue No. 1. Then it finally dawned on me that it’s not a wig, it’s a guinea pig! Blushes with embarrassment.

  10. No. 5 – Lago de la Luna (Moon Lake) is one of two crater lakes on the floor of the basin of Nevado de Toluca in Mexico. Nevado de Toluca is called several names including “Lord of the Corn Stalks”

    • Ding! After Germany invaded Norway, a couple of Norwegian meteorologists on the island refused to surrender, and instead sent weather reports to the allies. Germany engaged in several missions to try to take the island, but they never succeeded.

  11. No. 5 – Paektu, Baekdu, or Changbai Mountain?
    My normal Friday night routine has changed a bit lately, so I’m not home until much later in the evening – I’m glad there was one clue left for me to attempt, in fact it’s just as well there was only one or else I’d never get any sleep 🙂

    • Looking for the answer to No. 2 I came across a reference to The “last stand”: Hegra Fortress – Operation Weserubung WW2 in Norway, The Norwegian defenders were 250 resistance soldiers and the volunteer nurse Anne Margrethe Bang – A M Bang. It was an interesting thread that I followed last night.

  12. #5 Tofua caldera, Tonga. I love the story. (with thanks to Wiki)
    Three deities from Samoa, Tuvuvata, Sisi, and Faingaa, conspired to steal Tofua. So they came and tore up the high mountain by its very roots and its place was taken by a large lake. This enraged the Tongan gods very much and one of them, Tafakula, essayed to stop the thieves. He stood on the island of Luahako and bent over so as to show his anus. It shone so brilliantly that the Samoan deities were struck with fear, thinking that the sun was rising and that their dastardly work was about to be revealed. Hence, they dropped the mountain and fled to Samoa. The mountain became the island of Kao.

    • Ooops It’s gone I really should read comments before I write …… but I got all excited. I got Beerenberg too. Sigh! next week I will try to get in on Friday night but I’ll be in Brighton and so not sure what I’ll be doing or if my Kindle will allow me to get in. It’s decided to play up 😦

  13. The overall quakes in Torfajokull/Katla area and deep quakes at Katla are realy amusing to me. I dont know why 😀 Could the whole area be rising because the magma is intruding bellow so the strain is causing the allover quakes? haha 😀 Sorry, I jusy had to. 😀

    • I would just like to point out that the current level of seismicity at Katla is below average levels and at normal levels for Torfajökull.
      It kind of puts it into perspective how calm Katla has been for the last 3 years. Between 1992 and 2010 Katla was as seismically active as the Reykjanes Ridge and Gódabunga was about as active as Tjörnes Fracture Zone. Still no eruption there. So I would therefore assume that if Katla headed for an eruption the run-up would be pretty noticeable. Ie, we would not be guessing, we would all be saying into our graying beards (or equivalent for the Ladies) “This is it”.
      So, unless we start to see thousands of earthquakes per month ranging up towards M5s I am not getting alarmed.

      Do note, Gódabunga and Katla had wave after wave of very significant intrusions during the period between 1992 and 2010 with some parts suffering from several meters of inflation without bupkis happening. 😉

      • To drive the point home even further.
        Gódabunga during the beginning of that period suffered a 15 month long earthquake swarm that released more energy than Katla did 1992 to 2010 combined with what Eyjafjallajökull did from 1998 up untill the eruption. It also had two more almost as powerfull earthquake swarms after the initial one.
        To this date nobody knows how close it was that Iceland got a brand new volcano, the proto-eruption might have halted just a few hundred meters below surface for all we know, but we do know that all the commotion created a sizeable magma chamber at 4 km depth. It is possible that part of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption (Fimmvörduhals) was actually magma squirting out from Gódabunga and not Eyjafjallajökull itself.

        Now, my point is that this is a very noisy corner of Iceland as it nears an eruption, so once again, you will really say “Holy Crap, Here We Go!” as the run-up starts, and everyone in here will be saying it in chorus, even Henrik.

  14. Hey everyone!
    Now, this is an unusual earthquake: what? subduction between Australian and Indian plates? I thought they were welded together for eons…
    M6.4 – South Indian Ocean USGS
    2014-06-14 11:11:00 UTC

    • Not all that unusual. The Indo-Australian plate is in the process of breaking up. Some of the shear is nearly parallel with the Ninetyeast ridge, a hotspot-carved weakness in the plate. This quake is near the area of shear where the plates are bending/breaking apart. There also appears to be the beginning of convergent and divergent boundaries to the west, where the Australian portion rotates counterclockwise and northward. This whole process is not unprecedented, as the Arabian plate appears to once have been part of the Indo-Australian plate, but as collision increased forces on it, faults formed, separating the two.
      Also, keep in mind that rock is not super rigid… it actually bends on the scale of tectonic plates.

    • One should also keep in mind that plate boundaries aren’t the clear lines that you see drawn on maps. At the edges, the plates tend to break into many sections. During collision, pieces get scraped off the subducting plate onto the top plate, and plates may crack during the collisions, causing subduction zones to shift back or forward, forming new plates in between. At midocean ridges, spreading often shifts left or right, forming new plates in between, until one of the ridges quits spreading and it gets welded to one of the other plates. Even with transform faults, faults form on either side of the main fault, and could become the main fault in the future!

  15. Sorry to drop in mid quizzes, but I was rummaging around the Iceland instruments. Is that low-leve harmonic tremor I see under Askja? Something seems to be up…

  16. Chaparrastique (San Miguel) does not seem to come to rest.
    “The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) reports that at 9:00 am on Wednesday, June 11, until 9:00 am today Saturday 14, seismic vibration under Chaparrastique volcano has been very intense. There has been a little volcano gas emissions and there is no report of ashfall.

    This indicates that the duct system of the volcano is partially obstructed to pressure bearing magmatic fluids, so there is a high probability of eruptive activity, either through the central crater or on its flanks.”
    In the last 500 years only VEI-1 to VEI-2 eruptions have been recorded.

  17. {grin} Smoking a batch of serrano peppers. This is going to be one nice chipotle when I get done.

    I’m using a combination of Hickory and Cherry for my wood. Typically, chipotle is made from Jalapenos, but by using serrano, it’s gonna be a bit more “spiffy.”

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