Something up in Kamchatka?

I was just reading a story in Australian news, posted seven hours ago (per Google), noting that, after a strong earthquake:

The Russian Academy of Sciences’ vulcanology institute said that at Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which at 4,754 meters is Eurasia’s tallest active volcano, as many as 10 explosions an hour were being recorded.

Russia’s state RIA news agency cited Alexei Ozerov, the director of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying that the dome of the volcano is very hot.

“At night, the dome glows almost over its entire surface. Hot avalanches with a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius roll down the slopes, pyroclastic flows descend. This state of the dome is observed, as a rule, before a powerful paroxysmal eruption.”

They also mention activity at nearby Shiveluch, but that, I believe, has been ongoing — it is a very active volcano.

We’ve met Klyuchevskoy before, and here is expert information from Dr. Klemetti on Shiveluch, posted earlier this month.

That volcano is not to be ignored, but from the little solid information I found online this afternoon, it sounds as though Klyuchevskoy is the big news, though not perhaps as bad as it sounds in the news (that ABC Australia story is pretty good, by the way, far better than some of the other online stories and videos).

It’s not extremely unusual for a lava dome to glow, but what they say about a possible paroxysm is important.

Here is one that it had back in January of this year:

On the webcams at the moment, the big K’s summit is hidden by cloud and/or ash. In comparison, Shiveluch appears to be on break.

One of the two current webcam images of Klyuchevskoy

Checking websites, Klyuchevskoy is on Yellow aviation alert. According to today’s VONA from KVERT (emphasis added):

According to the video data by KVERT, the Strombolian type of an explosive eruption of Klyuchevskoy volcano began to observing from 11:30 UTC on 17 November, 2022, and such activity continues. The appearance of a new thermal anomaly over the volcano was noted on 13 November, and the temperature of the thermal anomaly began increasing from 17 November, and this continues. The strong gas-steam plume is extending to the southeast of the volcano at now. KVERT continues to monitor the Klyuchevskoy volcano.

A moderate explosive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect low-flying aircraft.

One of the current Shiveluch webcam images.

Shiveluch is at Aviation Code Orange, but that isn’t new. There are two VONAs today on its KVERT page, each describing a lot of activity, but again, this is not a major change, as far as I can tell.

It’s more of a surprise to see the Mount St Helens-like volcano clear and quiet in the current webcam view!

This sort of activity is more Shiveluch’s thing:

The volcano’s GVP page.

Well, time will tell if something big is indeed brewing among the stone torches in Kamchatka. Fortunately, it is a remote area. Also, fortunately (though sadly), there isn’t much international air travel for a big ash cloud to disrupt over this part of Russia just now.

Featured image: Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

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