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Klyuchevskoy Erupts: Eurasia’s Tallest Active Volcano Spews Ash 40,000 Feet Into the Air

Satellite image of the Klyuchevskoy volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula acquired on November 1, 2023, by NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Eurasia’s tallest active volcano spewed ash that drifted hundreds of kilometers.

Eruption activity escalated at the Klyuchevskoy volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in autumn 2023. When the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor on NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image on November 1, 2023, the ash plume from Klyuchevskoy (also Kliuchevskoi) rose as high as 12 kilometers (40,000 feet) above sea level. The plume extended 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) to the east-southeast, reported the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT).

The false-color image below offers a detailed look at the lava flows and ash plume emanating from the volcano. It was acquired by the OLI (Operational Land Imager) on Landsat 8 on November 1, 2023. The hot lava gives off a shortwave infrared signal that makes it appear red in this band combination (6-5-3). Clouds appear blue, contrasting with the gray, roiling plume.

Klyuchevskoy Lava Flow Ash Plume November 2023 Annotated

False-color image acquired on November 1, 2023, by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 offers a detailed look at the lava flows and ash plume emanating from the Klyuchevskoy volcano.

As a precaution, authorities ordered the closure of schools in two nearby towns, according to news reports. The aviation color code was elevated to red, the highest warning level, due to the significant emissions of ash into the atmosphere.

Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Kamchatka Peninsula is home to more than 300 volcanoes, including several that are frequently active. The current eruption at Klyuchevskoy, Eurasia’s tallest active volcano, has been ongoing since June 2023, when KVERT noted the start of Strombolian eruptions. Explosive eruptions and lava flows continued in the ensuing months. Landsat 8 captured an image of a tamer eruptive phase, along with activity at neighboring volcano Bezymianny, in mid-October 2023.

Klyuchevskoy Volcano

The Klyuchevskoy volcano, also known as Kliuchevskoi, is a towering stratovolcano located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. As the highest mountain in the Kamchatka region and the tallest active volcano in Eurasia, Klyuchevskoy stands 4,754 meters (15,597 feet) tall. Its steep, conical shape is a classic characteristic of stratovolcanoes, which are composed of multiple layers of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash from its periodic eruptions.

Klyuchevskoy’s first recorded eruption occurred in 1697, and it has been highly active ever since, with a pattern of frequent, often strombolian, eruptions that produce both effusive lava flows and explosive activity. The volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotbed for seismic and volcanic activity due to the movement of tectonic plates. Klyuchevskoy’s eruptions are often accompanied by large ash plumes that pose a significant hazard to air travel and have implications for local communities and the environment.

The volcano is continuously monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), which tracks its activity, issues warnings, and studies the volcano to better understand its behavior and mitigate the risks associated with its eruptions. Klyuchevskoy is not only a subject of scientific interest but also a prominent feature of the Kamchatka Peninsula’s landscape, contributing to the region’s geological diversity and natural beauty.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Wanmei Liang and Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, and Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: SciTechDaily