Eruptions


The crater lakes at the summit of Gorely volcano in Russia.

Possibly lost in the vuvuzela noise, but Eruptions readers over the weekend noted that Gorely on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia had its first eruption in over 20 years. The Russian media has a brief report mentioning that the volcano produced an ash plume that “stretched over a hundred kilometers” (horizontally). The plume was causing some disruptions of local air travel and threatening a geothermal plant, but no real other details beyond that were offered. So far, there has been no update about the possible eruption on the KVERT status page.

Gorely is really a set of five overlapping stratovolcanoes within a caldera system. They have been fairly active, producing relatively frequent VEI 2-3 eruptions over the last century, but the volcanic cluster hasn’t had an known eruption since 1986. I stress “known” because the volcano is fairly remote (as a lot of things are in far eastern Russia) and only one seismometer monitoring the area. There have been suggestions that Gorely erupted or came close to erupting a number of times over the last decade, but nothing has been substantiated. Gorely isn’t small-fry either – the eruption that formed the caldera ~38-40,000 years ago ejected over 100 km3 of volcanic tephra and although another eruption of this magnitude is not a likely event, it is in the volcano’s history. Most recent eruptions have been relatively small volume vulcanian and phreatic events erupting basaltic andesite.

Comments

  1. #1 walter
    June 14, 2010

    There is (was) also no ash report of the VAAC Tokyo concerning a possible eruption.

  2. #2 Raving
    June 14, 2010

    Re Gorely …

    June 6th: Slightly above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 0.58*10-6mps.
    June 7th: Slightly above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 0.64*10-6mps
    June 8th: Slightly above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 0.66*10-6mps.

    June 9th: Above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 0.77*10-6mps.
    June 10th: Above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 1.13*10-6mps.
    June 11th: Above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 1.24*10-6mps.

    June 12th: Above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 1.65*10-6mps.
    06:00 gas-steam plume ~1000m
    21:00 gas-steam plume ~500m

    June 13th: Above background levels.Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor up to 1.68*10-6mps.
    06:00 gas-steam plume ~500m.
    21:00 obscured.

  3. #3 Passerby
    June 14, 2010

    I’m not finding jacksquat on Gorely erupting or even showing elevated activity.

    Raving lunatic posted a report for June 13th *2008* as “proof”. The sole cited report we have here is a vague article in a Russian newspaper.

    I see nothing from VAAC, from AVO or KVERT, and it’s not because they’re playing careful.

    You got an official source for those ‘daily activity reports’, Raving?

  4. #4 Raving lunatic
    June 14, 2010

    @Passerby and miss it (#3)

    Google wasn’t your friend huh? Lol

    I’m not going to supply the source because of the obvious reasons when you find it. Yes, it is “official” because of that obvious reason and as per the “official” link provided below.

    Try http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/kvert.php and follow the pumice stone road(s). You might discover some interesting things.

  5. #5 Carl
    June 14, 2010

    Normally I would have guessed that Passerby didn’t find anything due to lack of skill in Russian (on the other hand, Passerby might be good at Russian), but I didn’t find anything, not in any language.
    And of course to make things worse, seems like that it isn’t even totally named Gorely. That is the americanized form of Gorelay Sopka.
    But the Russians more often call it Vtoraya Mutnovskaya (The Right Mutnovska), but there is even yet another name, Asacha volcano and that isn’t even Russian, instead it is one of the local languages. Yet another page (Global Volcanism Page) suggested that all of this names are names of the different volcanos that form the larger form of Gorely (or whatever).
    But don’t worry, there are of course two (2) Asachas out there!!! An old probably extinct Asacha shield-volcano that is close to the young strato-volcano Asacha right next to Tumanov Lava Cone.

    And that is why Russians should stop drinking while naming things…

    But, neither of these names and close relatives or whatnots of Asacha seems to be erupting right now. BUT, I hereby sternly warn that it might be correct also. We are talking about a part of Russia without Internet, the newspapers out there doesn’t even have a homepage to google. If the Gorelywhatskiy is erupting out there it would be some reindeer-hearding nomad who reported it to his local newspaper, something like Nowheretskaya Pravda (with a probably cirkulation of 500 in Tomranyi Usetva).

    If there is someone from Russia here I duly apologize for my jokes on Russian names in the last paragraph.

  6. #6 Misplaced Brit
    June 14, 2010

    This is totally off-topic, but what’s the latest report on Eyjafjallajökull? I notice there haven’t been any mentions in the last couple of posts.

  7. #7 Carl
    June 14, 2010

    @Raving: Sorry Raving, no info on Gorely more than that it is code green all over the bord on KVERT in both English and Russian. Put out a direct link if you have one.

    @Brit the Lost: Eyjafjallajökull has gone almost dormant. Nothing much happening now there. Some little action in Grimsvötn (Some nice quakes), filling of a probable magma chamber just north of Eldey (might give a nice explosive Surtseyan eruption in a year or two), but otherwise Iceland is calm as a pig being loaded into a catapult.

  8. #8 Passerby
    June 14, 2010

    KVERT website organization leaves something to be desired.

    Objective report(s) location:
    http://emsd.iks.ru/~ssl/Volcanoes/Daily_Information%28Engl%29/2010/06/

    KVERT website:
    Archive of the daily information updates and satellite images
    Daily information-english
    2010 folder06 subfolder

    Thank-you for indirectly providing the requested source.

  9. #9 Misplaced Brit
    June 14, 2010

    @Carl – Thanks for the info! The last I’d heard was that there’d been a few shallow quakes, but then the trail seemed to go dead, so to speak, so I just wondered if anything had come from them. Now I know :-)

  10. #10 Carl
    June 14, 2010

    The Voice of Russia has had some Vodka I think.
    The picture on the inlinked article is Klyuchevskoi and on the first article they used an old picture from the last unrest in 86.
    But… I am known to have been wrong before.

  11. #11 Gordon
    June 14, 2010

    Raving lunatic – I followed the pumice stone road, found lots of interest, and now have nice soft feet. No link at the end of the rainbow for me though. Thank you Passerby for being less distracted and bamboozled by the site than I was.

  12. #12 Raving
    June 14, 2010

    It (KVERT?) seems to be a sizable group with a large network and numerous resources. The funding aspect might be awkward.

    @Gordon (#11)

    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2010/06/keep_em_guessing_crazy_volcano.php#comment-2587404

  13. #13 Passerby
    June 14, 2010

    Raving: staff are spread thinly over large several large and complex volcanic areas.

    Staff are probably not dedicated specifically to volcanic monitoring, and carry KVERT activity in addition to funded / ongoing studies and projects in their respective areas of expertise. Full plates, from the looks of staff previous publications.

    If Washington and Moscow were willing to Think outside the Bun, they would be pleasantly surprised how much of monitoring coverage of the critical Kamchatka, Kurile and Aleutian chains could be expanded and manned by a dedicated network of virtual volunteers.

    Remote equipment maintenance in often hostile climate-environment locations remains as the primary barrier to realization.

    However, the payoff would be much, much higher and costs just a sliver of sending warm bodies to Mars. *sigh*

    (and yes, Google is our Friend, but is only as good as the search terms employed and database access permitted)

  14. #14 Nick
    June 14, 2010

    #6 a lake has formed in the Iceland crater, check the last few reports/videos

  15. #15 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 14, 2010

    RE: Gorely

    Ренди,

    6 июня наюлюдалась повышенная фумарольная активность вулкана Горелый, дрожание немного повысилось.

    Дрожание этого вулкана повышалось года два назад до 2 мкм/с, но эруптивных событий не было.

    смотрим дальше. Пока все нормально, опасности нет.

    Всего доброго,

    Ольга Гирина.

  16. #16 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 14, 2010

    Repost from previous thread:

    So, given there’s a lake where the eruption was I see two possibilities:

    1. The new vent got dammed (which is why we’ve not seen all that much from gigjokull) and the lake was created by the (stopped?) eruption and is kept going by melt caused by the cooling lava.

    2. The lake is renewable, there is still hot magma close to the surface continuing to melt the glacier.

    Either way, not so good for the valley below: dam breaks or is overtopped.

    So, anyone else have ideas? This is just meant as the beginning of a discussion from a rank amateur. ;-)

  17. #17 Diane N CA
    June 14, 2010

    Parclair, #16, from what I saw from the video posted in the last thread, Eyjaf is steaming a lot along one of the edges of the crater wall and I think it might have been the part of the crater that is on the same side of Gig. I am not sure of that; just guessing.

    It looks quiet other than that, but it could flood down Gig and that is a big concern. They don’t need anymore of that noise! I think we are at the point of “wait and see” AGAIN. Since there are a lot of things to watch for out there, we are waiting, waiting, waiting. Still, there is Pacaya, Turialba, Kilauea, Taal, etc. Something will happen soon and I hope it isn’t real bad.

  18. #18 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 14, 2010

    Diane, I’ve been aquainting myself with the popocatepetl, turrialba and taal lake cams. Altho’ from the accounts of the previous eruptions (they seem to head north) it’s possible that the taal cam will be taken out by the hoohah (a technical term) surrounding an eruption.. ;-)

    I continue to be curious about the how of the lake formation at Eyjaf.

  19. #19 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 14, 2010

    RE: Gorely for the non-Russian speakers.

    Randy

    June 6 There was increased fumarole activity at Gorely, trembling slightly increased.

    Jitter of the volcano rose about two years ago to 2 m / s, but there was no eruptive events.

    Looking further, so far everything is normal, there is no danger.

    Regards,

    Olga G.

  20. #20 birdseyeUSA
    June 14, 2010

    news of some good to come from Eyja eruption…source, Iceland Review

    14/06/2010 | 16:26
    Ash from Eyjafjallajökull to Reinforce Concrete
    Research conducted by the engineering company Mannvit shows that ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption could be used to reinforce concrete, Fréttabladid reports. The materials in the ash are similar to those found in the ash produced when coals are burned, a substance widely used to strengthen concrete.

    Technologist Karsten Iversen and geological engineer Börge Johannes Wigum conducted the research for Mannvit.

    “The ash from Eyjafjallajökull has glass in it and is rich with silicates,” said Iversen. “That can have positive benefits in making concrete.” Concrete such as this is lighter and easier to handle, lasts longer and prevents alkali damages.

    Glassy and silicate-rich ash has so-called Pozzolan qualities, named after a district near the volcano Versa in southern Italy. The Romans mixed calcium with ash from the volcano to use as a binder in concrete.

    Today these qualities are achieved by mixing coal ash and silicon dust with cement.

    Iversen and Wigum found that a five percent mix of ash into concrete depresses alkali tensity. This makes the ash an interesting ingredient for concrete, making it stronger and longer lasting.

    The only problem the two technicians encountered was with the quality of the ash, as only 60 percent of the samples contained enough dust to be used as a Pozzolan ingredient. It remains to be seen whether it is possible to get enough quantity of ash to process it for concrete making.

  21. #21 birdseyeUSA
    June 14, 2010
  22. #22 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 14, 2010

    Looks to be an interesting article on the 1965 Taal eruption:

    http://glg420.asu.edu/documents/taal.pdf

    Note the lake temps recorded before the eruption–45 C. Wow.

  23. #23 Passerby
    June 14, 2010

    @Parclair: maybe a combination of reasons 1 and 2.

    Looking at the photo of the crater (see link above), you can see why I was slightly caustic in reply to Jon’s comment on flood potential. The only flooding risk was due to heavy seasonal rains and an small but notable increase in melt rate (and meltwater temps) from the glacier as the air temperatures warm.

    What may have happened is this: with the decline of active height of super hot magma (evidenced by a decline in ash production and steam cloud height), reduced thermal conditions within the crater has slowed the melting and ‘flashing off’ of glacier ice, allowing meltwater to accumulate in the ‘pot’, although it is well below the ‘rim’ of accumulated lava and ash deposits.

    The water level within the crater appears to have dropped when compared against news report video images, so perhaps the melt rate is now slower than the flash-to-steam rate (still occurring intermittently) that is also removing water from the ‘pot’ by evaporation.

    I believe there is still hot magma with the ‘pipe’, but it’s neither hot enough nor under enough pressure flux from far below (magma surging evidenced by periods of high seismicity and changes in GPS readings in the past month) at present to sustain an eruption at the intensity we saw in early May.

    Fear not; the aesthenosphere is set to bump and roil against the lower boundary of the lithosphere again soon.

  24. #24 Raving
    June 14, 2010

    More about the Gorely eruption with pictures (?).

    maxxk.livejournal.com/tag/volcanoes
    Translated http://tinyurl.com/33xanhs

    The original story referenced by the the above mentioned blog via Google Translate is tinyurl.com/3yrmwo7

    ———————-
    Thanks to M. Randolph Kruger for the necessary Russian cryllic for plugging into Google.

    Borely volcano = “вулкана Горелый”
    “Olga Kirin” = “Ольга Гирина”

  25. #25 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 15, 2010

    @passerby. Thanks for the clarification. I’ve been trying to figure out what the “pot” is. I think I thought of it more as a bowl in a glacier rather than a bowl made of tephra. Or, is it a combo– tephra and ice (I’m thinking of the steaming on one side of the lake)? Do we know where the steaming portion is in relation to gigjokull?

  26. #26 Renato I Silveira
    June 15, 2010

    EQ Swarm in Baja: 5,7 M, 4,5 M, other 2x 4+M, and countless others 3+.
    What’s going on?

  27. #27 Renato I Silveira
    June 15, 2010

    “Nearly two dozens earthquakes, including a magnitude 5.7 temblor, struck Monday night near the U.S.-Mexican border in southern San Diego County.(…)The others — ranging from 3.2 to 4.1 magnitude — were also concentrated in the same general area, according to the survey agency.”
    They seem to become more frequent. Could only faulting explain them?

  28. #28 Lurking
    June 15, 2010

    @Renato I Silveira [27]

    “…Could only faulting explain them?…”

    You got it. The quakes are focused at the Southern end of the Yuha Wells fault. That’s the one that cuts across the Elsinore and south of which, is the Laguna Saluda (a continuation of the Elsinore) After the Big Mex quake, most of the aftershocks were on the Laguna Saluda just south of the Yuha Wells.

    My read is that the crust block that snapped has caused more stress as the north section tries to turn to the east, which is locked on the Imperial/San Andreas side, and the only way for the stress to go is up the Elsinore.

  29. #29 Renato I Silveira
    June 15, 2010

    Thank you Lurking. There was a 5.9 that was later downgraded to 5.7. But there were dozens of them with an hour lapse of time! It’s like one single tremor lasting for hours.
    I see there’s a rifting type of fault there. Any idea if this could get worse or if a major event could be an unwanted outcome?
    (like destabilizing San Andreas flt. or something?) My Goodness! I have no idea of how it feels like!

  30. #30 Lurking
    June 15, 2010

    @Renato I Silveira [29]

    Well… Firstly, I am not a geologist. There is nothing backing this other than my own observations over the last few months. So, here it goes.

    On 7/3/09, there was a Mag 6.0 at 25.130000° -109.750000°. This is in the middle of the Gulf of California, other than being in the middle of nowhere and alone, I filed that in the back of my head. No biggie.

    On 8/3/09, there was a Mag 6.9 at 29.040000° -112.900000°. That’s not a small quake. Still in the middle of nowhere. “Hmm” An after shock of 6.2 happens near there and I remember the first quake.

    8/5/09 – more after shocks, still further north along the fault line. I note down the occurance and go back and get the parms for the other quakes.

    From 10/8/09 – 10/16/09, Approx 6 Mag 4.1 to 4.6 quakes happen, again, further up the fault line. I begin to think that the oddball notion in the back of my head is correct.

    The idea is that there was a “stress wave” (for lack of a better term) moving up to the San Andreas area. I figure that it’s moving at about 135-150 miles every two months. Nothing really notable occurs and I blow it off.

    Then, at the end of the month, 12/30/09, a swarm appears at 32.482704° -115.157876°. Based on my projection, the “wave” should be up North of LA by mid to late summer.

    I note a few odd transverse quake swarms along what I found out later was the Yuha Wells fault. Other collections appeared up along the Elsinore. I figure that the many fractures of the area are bleeding the stress and killing the “wave”

    Then Mexico has it’s large quake and all **** brakes loose on the Laguna Saluda up to the Yuha Wells. It’s been popping ever since. Now the stress from that event seems to be moving over to the Elsinore. It’s still an after shock event of the Mex quake, and I don’t know how it figures into that wave thing I was yammering about.

    The Three main faults from here north are the Elsinore which runs past San Diego, the San Jacinto which is inland about 26 km and roughly parallel, and the San Andreas that runs up from the Salton Sea (and is about 40 km further inland). South of there it’s the Imperial fault. Additionally, there are a some faults that parallel the coast.. mainly the San Clemente fault San Diego Trough fault zone, Newport-Inglewood – Rose Canyon fault zone, which runs through San Diego bay. And others. They all server the same purpose… to distribute stress around the locked section of the San Andreas. Look up “Wrench Fault” and you will get an idea of how the transverse mountains (such as San Gabriel Mts,San Bernardino Mts etc.) formed. The compressed and uplifted section are those mountains (and others) and the thinning section of crust is the basin/valley of the Salton Sea. At the San Gorgonio Pass, the San Andreas turns back to the west and assumes a non locked configuration up to the Cajon Pass where it then heads off up towards San Fransisco.

    North of LA, the Raymond fault, the San Gabriel fault, and the Sierra Madre faults mark the northern boundary of crust segments that make up the Southern California area. How that “stress wave” moves through there is anybodies guess. For a while, I figured that the large Mex quake and the aftershocks had dissipated it. With the fresh set of after shocks.. that may not be the case and it’s going to continue it’s slow grind North.

    I’ve run plots of the full length of the San Andreas (and south) and looked at all of the quakes that occur there verses latitude and time… it shows some interesting patterns of quakes that seem to drift up and down the fault lines over time. I’ve posted that plot before, but here it is again:

    http://i45.tinypic.com/v5li8n.png

    And those pseudo crust blocks in blue (current activity is on here also):

    http://i46.tinypic.com/2zey13k.png

    My apologies to all for the OT quake only post.

  31. #31 Alison
    June 15, 2010

    @lurking I read your interesting post then went to look at todays earhquakes
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html
    only to see there’s been an earthquake swarm in southern California over the last couple of hours.

  32. #32 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 15, 2010

    I was looking at the Taal Lake Yacht Club webcam, trying to determine sunset time for the place, when I got the scare of a lifetime: suddenly a glowing light appeared at the top of the volcano island, right where I suppose the main vent is, very much like a bright explosion; the next frame showed diminishing light and something gray on top of it. It looked scary enuff to get the classic comment, “Oh Shit!”

    Finally, the reason came clear: a drop of rain had landed just at the right spot to give a scare.

  33. #33 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 15, 2010

    Another observation from that cam: from time to time, the horizon keeps jumping from frame to frame. EQs? There is no wind to speak of.

  34. #34 Renato I Silveira
    June 15, 2010

    @Lurking: With so many faults involved I wonder why Californians don’t move to Wisconsin! Thanks for the illuminating explanation and graphs.
    BTW – The swarm has not yet ceased!

  35. #35 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 15, 2010

    I got the sunset time for Taal: at 0640 EDT the camera lost colors; at 0653 EDT it was totally dark.

  36. #36 renee
    June 15, 2010

    Looking at the swarm near Baja extremely impressive and still not slowing down I’ve lost count of the aftershocks just for today. A few impressive Mags from yesterday before the 5.7 A few months ago we had a long lasting swarm like this in the nevada region no large quakes but just one right after the other.

  37. #37 Passerby
    June 15, 2010

    @30: cool graphic. Dropping a topo map layer and satellite photo to show urban density (a major compressive action) is instructive as you move between layers.

    I use an engineering mechanics perspective to physically sketch in major forces acting on structural members (area between physical network intersections) and joints. This visualization tool is, of course, crude because it’s a generalization, but it’s nonetheless effective if you are careful to study day-to-day activity patterns during active periods -like right now.

    The LA basin is a very busy area, with major forces being passed through rigid geophysical networks that are are moderately ‘locked’, where the force acting over distance on individual members aren’t enough to cause release of accumulated stress-strain release.

    Thus you have pass through of pressure waves from the south (originating roughly from under the massive geothermal field) to distant northern fault networks.

    Bloody marvelous!

  38. #38 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 19, 2010

    GORELY VOLCANO: 52°33′N, 158°02′E; Elevation 1,828 m
    AVIATION COLOR CODE IS GREEN

    KVERT-staff note a small increase of size and temperature of the thermal anomaly over the volcano from June 15. Strong gas-steam activity of the volcano was observing on June 06 and 12-13.

    Seismicity of the volcano was above background levels all week. Amplitude of volcanic tremor was increasing from 0.5 mkm/s on June 05 till 1.7 mkm/s on June 14, and remains on this levels.

    KVERT-staff continue to monitor Gorely volcano.

  39. #39 Raving
    June 26, 2010

    Many new images of Gorely posted in the link below

    http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/current/grl/index.html

  40. #40 ReCo
    September 14, 2010

    The short sketch of our ascent of the volcano Gorely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPG2jDeOo1A

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