Large eruption at Bezymianny

Undated image of Bezymianny in Kamchatka.

Eruptions reader M. Randolph Kruger just let us in on a significant eruption at Bezymianny in Kamchatka. The AVO/KVERT alert for the volcano suggests a fairly significant explosive eruption that might cause some snarls in the international air travel over the Kamchatka Peninsula. The KVERT statement:

A strong explosive eruption of Bezymianny volcano occurred from 12:34 till 12:50 UTC on May 31, according to seismic data. Ash fall in Kozyrevsk village is continuing. The volcano obscured by clouds. A big ash cloud remains over Kamchatka at present (NOAA-15, 17:52 UTC on May 31, last satellite): coordinates on the south - 56.04 N; the north - 56.94 N; the east - 161.05 E; and all Kamchatka to the west. The activity of the volcano could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

You can check out the Bezymianny webcam and maybe catch a glimpse of the action when the seeing is good - just last year many of the main Kamchatka volcanoes were outfitted with webcams. Bezymianny is no stranger to explosive eruptions. The volcano has experienced VEI 2-3 eruptions almost every year for the last 20 years, so this type of event would fit in with that pattern. More details as they arrive ...

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Erik, look at the article posted by @Guillermo on Chaitén.
It says the "volcano has been upgraded to one of the 15 deadliest. Radiocarbons and witnesses of a huge eruption that occurred 320 years ago"

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 31 May 2010 #permalink

Sorry for the hoax, Erik!
Good night now! Couldn't see much on Bezymianny webcam.
Be back tomorrow.
Gracias again, Guillermo!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 31 May 2010 #permalink

22 Guillermo-- thanks for the link. An interesting article--

By parclair, NoCal USA (not verified) on 31 May 2010 #permalink

There was quite a big swarm at Reykjanes peninsula yesterday (50 EQ or so around 7km deep).

Is the Brennisteinsfjöll volcano still active? I see that it has not had an eruption since the 14th century and that it is/was a fissure with several craters running NE/SW.

Is that activity normal for the area?

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 31 May 2010 #permalink

#28 The truth about Chaitén:
The Chaitén volcano ago had a violent eruption 320 years
Surprising finding of experts:
In the heart of the city ... was hiding the best kept secret of the volcano Chaitén. There, buried under a meter of the surface, below the last avalanche volcanic (lahar), lay the remains of the trunk of a tree four centuries ago was mute testimony to an eruption as violent as today, according to experts.
And as if that were not enough, an illustrative map of a nautical chart or "road map" of 1669, built by Jesuit missionaries settled in Castro, shows a volcano Chaitén, possibly confused with Michimahuida-in full and vigorous process of eruption, with fire and ash erupt violently from its crater.
Two years of the current eruption, that was the surprising conclusion of a geological and historical research conducted by the head of Volcanic Risk Program of the National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin), Luis Lara, and historian of the U. Adolfo Ibáñez, Rodrigo Moreno.
The previous eruption also allowed to conclude that the volcano Chaitén is much more dangerous and active than previously thought. And demolished, forever, previous studies of the scientific world dating makes nine thousand years the penultimate eruptive activity of Nevado.
The ... Carbon 14 dating organic debris to the trunk of a tree, found under tons of ash, showed scientifically that their data was for 320 years, with a margin of error of 40 years. A second test in other volcanic sediments contained fragments confirmed the same result.
"We know well how was the eruption, although it was probably similar to the present, for the amount of sediment and volcanic material deposited in the same place where the city is now," said Lara.
The new data to Chaitén allowed to include in the list of 15 most dangerous and active volcanoes in the country.
The specialist said that the Chaitén volcano remains active, but is less vigorous than when he started, on January 2, 2008. His continuing ash and lava dome forming a dangerous or mound in the crater. The biggest danger remains the dome collapse, resulting proclastic wave to the White River which crosses the buried city.
The decrease in ejected volcanic material suggesting a progressive decline of the eruptive cycle.
"It is difficult to estimate how much can be extended, but it could take months. It is important to note that this type of volcano can have periods of rest to those who are new eruptive pulses, all of this, the scale of some years, "concludes the volcanologist.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink


What is the link between Bezymianny and Eyjafjallajokull?

Clue: "It's all in a name?!"

Heyho all.

So what are you thinking about our magnetosphere and the influence in temor ?

i wasnt that confinced before but since yesterday and this swarms appearing all round, could it be ?
nearly everything is charged in our earth, so could something that influence a magnetic field the size of our earth. move charged particles inside our earth, that could increase a reaction(tremor) in any kind that is happning down there, we havnt a real clue what is down there in which state(pressure,temp, etc yes all calced from up here what could the situation be down there but no proof we werent able to go down yet).……

Intresting how our magnetosphere reacted the last couple of days

Hey again.

could also need a tip for a good open source "timelaps" jpeg video programm :D

The reaction of our Magnetosphere in the last days were very ... strange/awesome.


I wasnt sure what to think about all the "flaming" ahh the Sun will erupt and our earth will shacke like never before.

but something is interacting with our magnetsphere and since it is the "small" tremors had increased.

so could there be a link?

Thanks Chris
is there a script to import a folder ? the pics a date sorted.

Link between E- and B-volcanoes:

They are high-altitude (tallest in their respective regions), high-latitude stratovolcanoes. Both erupted in the 10th century, the last time earth had an extended period of very warm temperatures.

Both are capable of significant hemispheric environmental impact, when they co-erupt with their near-neighbors.

For an 'extinct' volcano, Bezymianny has been one busy-B.

(I love pop-quizzes)

@Dennis: Easier. Choose "open video", take the correct filetype and then mark the first image of the series. The rest is done automatically. You can also set the framerate (which is set to 10fps per default, iirc).

Since there is not much graphic material of the recent eruptions all over the globe available, I thought you'd like to see old Mamma Etna in her most glorious days - thanks to a new slides scanner I have now the possibility to make some of my best photographs shine in all their beauty. This is just the beginning, I've got to choose the best photos out of about 15,000 slides covering 15 years (1989-2004) of encounters with Etna and the other Italian volcanoes ...


Correction: Klyuchevskaya is the tallest, making B-volcano more like Katla than Eyja, in comparison of co-erupting, high latitude pairs.

@ Passerby no. 15

Re: Todays's quiz

Sorry, great info.(nice try!) but you have not quite yet made me "purr"! (Ronronner/schnurren!)

BTW: Bezymianny is not "the tallest in her region". Neighbouring Klyuchevskaya is a whopping 15,860 feet high and therefore the tallest in the Kamchatka Peninsular and is more than capable of a lot of damage all by herself.…

There are many possible answers to today's quiz but your answer, so far, does not quite fit in with the given clue: "It's all in a name!"

Yes, you are right: I'm being "picky"! That's the fun of it.

Not quite what I'm looking for.

Anybody else wanting the e-beer?

Please keep trying!!

Sorry that i think about possibilities / influence of the event.
We havnt seen such a impact on the magnetsphrere since recording.
So sorry for interupte your picutre.

@18 Boris Behnke Wow - I don't envy you all that scanning to come - I especially (for starters) like the lava flows over the escarpment because they look so far from the volcano but show well its reach and power. And you have a lovely family. Question - have you ever been affected by ash falls and such?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

*sigh* Trivial pursuit:

Bezymianny is translated as "nameless" from Russian. Like Eyjaf ('mountain island' named icecap), the volcano has no 'name'.

Lovely photos, Boris.

@ 8 LaKat Both are 'nameless?'

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Dennis,various posts - I think anything is possible - but since (by the nasa reference) there is evidently little knowledge even amongst those actively studying the magnetosphere about such possible interactions and current discoveries, it is too far away from our knowledge here to speculate with any good results.....maybe ask on a planetary sciences blog, there must be one listed thru ? and then report back?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

@ Lurking, are you around ? You've made some fantastic graphs for us to visualize the recent earthquakes, Thanks. Are you making one for the recent quakes to the west of Hverageroisbaer in the Reykjanes penninsula ? What does everybody think of the recent swarm ?

@ 24 Passerby

@ 25 birdseyeUSA

Re: Today's Quiz (no. 8)

Both of you: too clever by half - knew it wouldn't take you long!

Well done! And same to anybody else out there who was bothering to try to find it out and hopefully learning a whole load of interesting info about the pair by doing so.

I think that who ever wins the day's quiz should get to set one on the following day. You two came through with the answer almost simultaneously so I think you BOTH should set one tomorrow!

@ 28 LaKat - hoo boy... hmmm - maybe.... I don't think I know enough to get clever!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

Hey, better than that @29, does anyone know if they will refire the Vodacam. I cant get images on picassaweb or the bleedin'camera either. Everything else is pretty much too far away or out of focus to the nth degree.

BTW-it would appear that Bezymianny isnt done yet.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

@ birdseyeUSA no.28


"It's easy to pose the question but much harder to answer it!". (Ask any academic!)

So hopefully you will pose one tomorrow - please!

@birdseye #22, yes we did have ash falls for several weeks during Etna's eruptions in 2001 and 2002-2003, plus short-lived ash (and scoria) falls during nearly every single paroxysm that generated lava fountains and ash columns (there have been more than 150 of these at Etna since 1995). The ash falls of late-2002 were particularly severe and a serious nuisance for people in the area; the airport of Catania was closed for many weeks and tourism business in Sicily nearly collapsed.

@Chris #23, luckily the scanner does have a feeder and is amazingly fast; I recall when I first scanned slides with a special scanner about 15 years ago, it took something like 10 minutes for a high-resolution scan and the result was not as satisfying as it is today!!!

@ Boris no. 18

Wonderful pics! of Etna and your family.
I hope that when a day i will go to visit Etna, i will have a chance to have your "guide"

By Dario Leone (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

Do my eyes deceive me, or is Bezymianny another fine example of a Somma Cone (like Vesuvius)?

@Fitz #35, there are a couple of significant differences between Bezymianny and Vesuvius, although at first sight both volcanoes look similar in that they have an arcuate crest surrounding an inner cone. But at Vesuvius, the arcuate crest is a caldera rim, and within the caldera stands a young stratovolcano that consists of both lava flows (of basaltic composition) and pyroclastics. In contrast, the young structure at Bezymianny is an andesitic lava dome standing within a collapse depression, which formed in 1956 when the older cone collapsed and exploded horizontally, in a manner identical to Mount St. Helens on 18 May 1980.

Hope this is helpful!

@Dario #34, you're always welcome at Etna !!!

Katla is classified as an intraplate volcano. Intraplate volcanoes comprise a mere 15% of all volcanoes on Earth.

This figure

shows the geographical-geological relationship between basalts of Iceland. The EVZ terminus volcanoes are all classified as high-alumina basalts. These basalts may be either silicic-rich or silicic-poor, depending on the intermixing/contamination with other basalts (like deeper mantle alkaline basalts) during remelt/reworking.

For our Wednesday Pop-Quiz, name another prominent locus of intraplate volcanism that also bears high-alumina-content basalts.

Clue: our host really 'digs it'.

For an extra 10-points: there is an interesting similarity in timing between the basalts of Iceland and our mystery location. What is it?

Cretaceous New Zealand? All hail Google ;)

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

@ birdseye no. 40

Answer to no. 39

Hold your horses, birdseyeUSA - this is tomorrow's quiz!

(BTW You did not get it right!)

my guess for the wednesday pop quiz are:

volcanoes of the cascades and of course our old volcanoes of Norway, wich is rich on basalts and Olivine contents.

other volcanoes that comes to mind might be

Berenberg volcano,

The eruption at berenberg was large, erupting at least 0.5 cubic km of basalt from a 3.7 mile (6 km) long fissure that ran from sea-level to an elevation of 3,000 feet (1,000 m). There were at least five active craters.

@ 41 heh, sorry - so that maybe helps the next person... ;)

by the way, a very nice photo of new growth coming up through ash at

now I need to get some work done -

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

No brownie points for answering WEDNESDAY's pop quiz.
Today is Tuesday.

Okay this looks really nice, but is there a chance to get a 8 min video fit to a upload size? (its 6k pics and 16GB right now,i havnt found the right option to get it smaller :/ )

I want to share these pics.

It looks great how mother earth defense itself.
You can actually see how the layers get pushed away and rebuild while its get a hour rest.

The strange is that there is pressure while no solar wind occured, and a magnatosphare thats rebuilding while under a real pressure of non charged particels.
Its reacting with the field (the field is under pressure, but still its recharging).

I know its a vulcano blog im sorry to put again this Offtopic here.
But my real question is really just how can i get it smaller so you can see it with your own eyes.
Is there a Programm to cut alot of picture at and to the same size?

From the Volcano list-serv: no surprises here

Monday, May 31, 2010 12:33 PM AKDT
(Monday, May 31, 2010 20:33 UTC)

52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

A small ash emission occurred early last night from Cleveland. The cloud was visible in a 7:56 pm ADT May 30 (0356 UTC, May 31) satellite image moving to the southwest and it did not rise above 16,000' ASL. At the time of the satellite image, the cloud was detached, and it is estimated that the emission occurred several hours earlier. The event was a short-lived ash emission and there are no signs of further activity.

The lack of a real-time seismic network at Cleveland means that AVO is unable to track local earthquake activity related to volcanic unrest. Unrest at Cleveland is frequent, and short-lived explosions with ash clouds or plumes that could exceed 20,000 ft above sea level can occur without warning and may go undetected on satellite imagery.

@47: similar issues with transboundary smoke migration last year, flowing in both directions from large PNW fires (south-central Alaska, BC and Alberta, Washington and Idaho). Much of the smoke arose from idiots buring off agricultural residues, but also caused by lightning strikes and camping fires in unusually dry boreal forest and prairie ecotype conditions.

Discussed at length on the UMBC Smog Blog last spring summer.

I am not exactly trying to answer tomorrow's quiz. I just want to say a bit about the Cascades, especially Lassen, since I know more about it, sort of. I have been on top twice and it is a great climb. Anyway, Lassen is dacitic. It is interesting that on the top, there is some very dark rock up there and I thought it was basalt, but I was way too tired to go exploring. It could have been andecite, but, I just don't know at this point. It is not that far from the lava fields at Tule Lake and those are basaltic. It is thought that the flow came from Medicine Lake rather than Lassen or Shasta. Since I like Lassen so much, I probably should study it more. I know that there was an article that stated that Broke-Off was NW of Lassen and it is actually SW because the trail is just about a couple of block before the south entrance to Lassen Park.

One of the things I learned when I was there the second time was the ranger's talk. Lassen and Broke-Off came up after Mt Tehema blew and colapsed. It was in the order of Mt Mazama, and Shasta. Actually Shasta was less in elevation that the other two. I think some of the Cascades were very high at one time, but eruptions over time and erosion have taken them down.

Well, I could be wrong about some of this, but somehow, I just love the Lassen area and the mountain itself, probably because I have been on top. Lassen, btw, is the last mountain of the Cascades. Then you get into the Sierras and there is past volcanism there, too. Mostly ryolitic.

There is a cinder cone right by I5 near Shasta that has red cinders and that lava had a lot of gas in it. The stuff looks almost like pumice, but it is heavy and will not float like pumice does.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

Not too shabby, Diane. Not the answer to tomorrows quiz, though.

Primitive basalts and andesites from the Mt. Shasta region, N. California: products of varying melt fraction and water content. Baker et al, 2005.

'Quaternary volcanism in the Mt. Shasta region has produced primitive magmas...ranging in composition from high-alumina basalt to andesite and these record variable extents of melting in their mantle source.'

However, the origin of these basalts (primative vs mixing models) is controversial.

High-magnesian andesite from Mount Shasta: A product of magma mixing and contamination, not a primitive melt: COMMENT AND REPLY. Barr et al, 2007.

Wikipedia has an informative webpage on medicine Lake.

Another good read, if you can locate the full paper:
A comparison of basaltic volcanism in the Cascades and western Mexico: compositional diversity in continental arcs.
Righter (2000) Tectonophysics 318(1-4):99-117.

From the abstract: Many physical similarities between the Cascades and western Mexican subduction zones would lead one to believe that volcanism in these two arcs should be similar. Despite the fact that there are four basaltic lava series [calc-alkaline basalt (CAB), intraplate alkaline (IA) basalt, high-alumina olivine tholeiite (HAOT) and high K (lamprophyric and relatively dry potassic)] represented in these arcs, there are significant differences which remain difficult to explain. ... blah blah blah ...However, the most compelling and successful idea is that these series result from decompression melting of depleted and/or enriched asthenosphere.

We'll take the 'decompression melting of the enriched asthenosphere' (with thinner lithosphere) for 200 points.

Sounds familiar, wrt Iceland, eh?

@12 Dennis. a visit to usually explains what is going on with the earth's magnetic field.

By Brian (Skye) (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

"What is the link between Bezymianny and Eyjafjallajokull?" Both the names are difficult to pronounce and spell :)

By Mattias Larsson, Swe (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

ÐезÑмÑннÑй ... The volcano's name means "nameless", and it was considered to be extinct before the 1955 eruption.

Eyjafjallajökull ... "island-mountain glacier"

By Raving Nameless (not verified) on 01 Jun 2010 #permalink

Glad it's so easy to make you happy! ;)

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 02 Jun 2010 #permalink

@5, Daniel, swe:

I don't think anyone has addressed this yet. The Reykjanes Peninsula has been quiet for a while now - I have a friend currently working on Svinahraun (the so-called 'Christianity Lavas') which are about 1000 years old, and I think the last active subaerial volcanism in the area was in the 13th century or so.

It should be noted that although the area is drifting away from the hot spot, and activity is declining (over a geological time scale), it is not dead. The Reykjanes Ridge is still very much active, being a continuation of the present Mid-Atlantic Ridge (it's thought that this section of the plate boundary may currently be jumping eastwards, down through Vestmannaeyjar, to follow the line of the Eastern Volcanic Zone).

Also I know there was at least one quite major intrusion event here in the 20th century (the exact date escapes me right now) and people within the Department of Earth Sciences here at the University of Iceland believe there will still be eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the future.