Missing

Possible eruption at Gorely in Russia?


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.

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