Large eruption underway at Shiveluch

Undated photo of Shiveluch volcano in Russia.

In case you haven't seen the report yet, Shiveluch in Kamchatka has gone, as they say, "non-linear". KVERT has raised the alert level at the volcano to "Red" with reports of many strong explosions and an ash plume of >32,800 feet / >10 km. This all suggests that the volcano might have experienced [WARNING SPECULATION] a massive dome collapse followed by rapid decompression of the magma under the dome - causing the plinian eruption that seems to be underway. The size of this eruption plume will definitely have some effect on air travel over the region from North America and Europe. More details as they arrive.

The full KVERT alert is as follows:

Thursday, September 10, 2009, 20:50 UTC (Friday, September 11, 09:50 KDT)

SHEVELUCH VOLCANO: 56°38'N, 161°19'E; Elevation 3,283 m, the dome elevation ~2,500 m

Strong explosive eruption of Sheveluch volcano with ash explosions >10 km (>32,800 ft) ASL probably continues. The activity of the volcano could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

According to seismic data, strong explosions of Sheveluch volcano occurred from ~14:19 to ~14:55 UTC on September 10. According to an interpretation of seismic signals, ash plumes rose up to >15,000 m (> 49,200 ft) ASL.

Next seismic signals detected a movement (during 8 minutes) of pyroclastic flows from the lava dome of the volcano at 15:57 UTC on September 10. Ash plumes from pyroclastic flows rose up to ~10,000 m (~32,800 ft)ASL (according to seismic signals).

No visual and satellite data about this events - the volcano obscures by clouds.

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Do you have any info on the lava dome size prior to its collapse?

By SHIRAKAWA Akira (not verified) on 11 Sep 2009 #permalink

From kcsnet-dot-ru

Friday, September 11, 2009, 21:50 UTC (Saturday, September 12, 10:50 KDT)


Activity of the volcano continues: a new viscous lava flow effuses at the lava dome. Ash explosions > 10 km (> 32,800 ft) ASL could occur at any time. The activity of the volcano could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

Seismic activity of the volcano decreased: only three explosive events occurred from 02:15 till 15:46 UTC on September 11. According to an interpretation of seismic signals, ash plumes rose up to 4.5-6.5 km (14,800-21,300 ft) ASL. No visual data about this events - the volcano obscures by clouds. According to satellite data, a thermal anomaly over the lava dome was registering on September 10-11.

I checked that area out on google maps and it has many volcanoes, some of which had plumes when the photo was taken. It's a very beautiful, interesting place.
Camchatka peninsula is on the same range of lattitudes as britain and yet there's sea-ice round bits of it, maybe only part of the year. It really brings home the benefits we get from the gulfstream.
Also, on g maps, a few islands down the chain I spotted a soviet strategic bomber base, with what looks like a backfire parked up on it.

How close can they get to it?