Bezymianny Volcano | John Seach


Kamchatka, Russia

55.97 N, 160.58 E
summit elevation 2882 m

Bezymianny is the most well known volcano in Kamchatka. The volcano erupted in 1955 after being dormant for 1000 years. The eruption was preceded by a failure of a 0.5 sq km section of the volcano.

Bandai-type (Bandaian) eruptions is the name given to major slope failures caused by phreatic eruptions. Bezymianny-type eruptions (1956) include a magmatic component. Slope failure without eruption occurred at Unzen volcano in 1792.

2012 Eruption
An eruption occurred at Bezymianny volcano on 9th March 2012. Ash rose to a height of 8 km and drifted 700 km NE. Ashfall was reported at Ust-Kamchatsk Village, 120 km ENE.

2010 Eruption
An explosion possibly occurred at Bezymianny volcano between from 23:42 UTC on 5th February and 01:58 UTC on 6th February. Lava flowed from the dome.

2009 Eruption
An explosive eruption occurred at Bezymianny volcano between 21:45 UT on 16th December 16 and 04:00 UT on 17th December. Seismic activity at the volcano decreased significantly after 04:00 UT on 17th December. Ashfall occurred at Kozyrevsk village. Satellite images showed ash plume extending 350 km north-west of the volcano.

2008 Eruption
On 11th July, volcanic tremor, hot avalanches and strong fumarolic activity was recorded at the volcano. Dome growth occurred in the crater. An explosion on 19th August sent a plume to an altitude of 9 km.

2007 Mudflow
A 200 m wide mudflow moved down the Sukhaya Khapitsa river in May 2007.

1997 Eruption
There was very little seismic activity prior to the 1997 eruption. The volcano began activity on 19th April 1997 with detection of volcanic tremor. By 8th May continuous tremor was recorded, which corresponded to the extrusion of a spine through the upper part of the dome. On 9th May an explosion produced a 14 km high eruption plume which drifted 600 km NE. Strong explosive activity lasted about 37 min. The eruption destroyed the top of the dome, forming a funnel-shaped crater 200 m across, breached to the southeast. A pyroclastic surge produced a lahar which traveled more than 30 km down the valleys of the Tundrovy Klutch and Sukhaya Khapitsa rivers. The pyroclastic surge covered an area of 30 sq km, extending 7 km southeast from the crater. Following the pyroclastic surge, a column collapse produced pyroclastic flows which traveled 4.7 km. Fallout from the eruption initially extended to the northeast, past Kamen and Kluchevskoy volcanoes.

1986 Eruption
During the night of June 22/23 the fourth lava flow after the 1985 eruption began to form. The lava flow ceased on 26th June. During the eruption two pyroclastic flows occurred and traveled up to 2 km long. The temperature of the ash-block flow deposits was about 300°C.

1955-57 Eruptions
On 29th September 1955, the first earthquake was recorded beneath Bezymianny volcano. The volcano was wakening after being dormant for 1000 years. From 19th October, earthquakes occurred at a rate of hundreds per day. An eruption commenced on October 22 with strong Vulcanian explosions from a new summit crater. The Vulcanian activity continued during November and the eruptions produced large quantities of ash. The duration of the pre-climactic stage was five months. A cataclysmic eruption on 30th March 1956. The directed-blast destroyed the summit of Bezymianny volcano and its eastern slope. An large crater, about 1.5 × 2.8 km in size and 700 m deep, was formed in the place of the summit. The height of the volcano was reduced by more than 200 m. The area covered by the directed blast was about 500 sq km.

Further reading
Girina, O.A., 2013. Chronology of Bezymianny volcano activity, 19562010. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 263, pp.22-41.

Turner, S.J., Izbekov, P. and Langmuir, C., 2013. The magma plumbing system of Bezymianny Volcano: Insights from a 54 year time series of trace element whole-rock geochemistry and amphibole compositions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 263, pp.108-121.

Belousov, A., 1996. Deposits of the 30 March 1956 directed blast at Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. Bulletin of Volcanology, 57(8), pp.649-662.

Bezymianny Volcano Eruptions

2007-2021 continuing, 2000-05, 1998, 1997, 1996-97, 1994-95, 1993-94, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1986-88, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1981-83, 1980, 1980, 1979, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1971-74, 1965-70, 1964, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1961, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958-59, 1958, 1958, 1957, 1955-57