Karymsky Volcano | John Seach


Kamchatka, Russia

54.05 N, 159.43 E
summit elevation 1486 m

Karymsky is the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone. Historical eruptions of Karymsky have been Vulcanian or Vulcanian-Strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater. Karymsky is the only active volcano in the Kurile-kamchatka arc which erupts dacite lava. Post-caldera eruptions at the volcano began 5300 years ago.

The summit crater changes its size and shape during at each eruption. The Karymsky caldera is 5 x 6.5 km at the rim and 4 x 5 km at the floor. The summit contains a double crater.

During large eruptions at Karymsky the column collapses to produce pyroclastic flows. The volcano contains a magma chamber with diameter of 1.5-7.0 km. A conduit with diameter of 100-200 m leads from the magma chamber to the top crater.

2013 Eruptions
In January 2013 ash plumes reached an altitude of 9800 ft and satellite images showed a hotspot at the volcano.

2008 Eruptions
Eruptions continued at Karymsky volcano in 2008. During June-September, ash plumes were emitted and hot avalanches repeatedly descended the flanks. In early December 2008, gas plumes were observed rising to an altitude of 2.4 km.

2006 Eruptions
During 7-14 April 2006, satellite imagery showed ash plumes extending 145 km E and SE of the volcano, and hotspots at the crater. Strombolian eruptions were recorded at the volcano in January to April. During 8-14 July, 250-1000 shallow earthquakes occurring daily. During August 2006, 100-300 shallow earthquakes occurred daily at the volcano.

2004-05 Eruptions
During 1 January to mid April 2004, ash eruptions and plumes occurred at Karymsky volcano, and seismicity remained above background levels. Increasing seismicity, rock avalanches and ash plumes to 2.5 km altitude led the level of Concern to be increased to Orange on 7th December 2004. Seismicity was above background levels from February 2005 through July 2005. On 26th and 27th April 2005, Strombolian eruptions occurred from two summit craters. Pyroclastic flow deposits were visible on the NNW flank of the volcano. Observations on 17th October 2005 showed that the lava dome in the summit crater had been partially destroyed.

1996 Eruptions
An explosive eruption of andesitic-dacitic magma occurred on 2nd January 1996 at the summit of Karymsky volcano. This was followed several hours later by a phreatomagmatic basaltic eruption from Karymskoye lake at nearby Akademia Nauk volcano. The eruption was associated with seismic activity. A large earthquake of magnitude 6.7 occurred on 1 January 1996, 17 km to the south of Karymsky volcano and 9 km to the south of Karymskoye lake.

1970 Eruptions
On 12th May 1970, powerful eruptions produced a new 200 m diameter crater at the summit of Karymsky volcano.

7700 BC Caldera-forming Eruptions
Caldera forming eruptions occurred in 7700 BC. It started with a large eruptions of pumiceous tephra. The tephra fall was succeeded by pyroclastic flows, which mainly
followed valleys of the Krestyanskaya and Karymskaya rivers. Immediately after eruption of the pyroclastic flows, explosive outbursts generated additional ash falls. The size of the caldera collapse, and the volume of erupted material (12-16 cubic km) was comparable to the eruption of Krakatau in 1883. After formation of the caldera, volcanic activity ceased for at least 1600 years.

Further reading
Izbekov, P.E., Eichelberger, J.C. and Ivanov, B.V., 2004. The 1996 eruption of Karymsky volcano, Kamchatka: historical record of basaltic replenishment of an andesite reservoir. Journal of Petrology, 45(11), pp.2325-2345.

Lees, J.M., Gordeev, E.I. and Ripepe, M., 2004. Explosions and periodic tremor at Karymsky volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. Geophysical Journal International, 158(3), pp.1151-1167.

Johnson, J.B., Lees, J.M. and Gordeev, E.I., 1998. Degassing explosions at Karymsky volcano, Kamchatka. Geophysical Research Letters, 25(21), pp.3999-4002.

Karymsky Volcano Eruptions

1996-2022, 1970-82, 1967, 1965-67, 1960-64, 1956-57, 1955, 1953, 1952, 1947, 1946, 1946, 1945, 1943, 1940, 1938, 1934-35, 1933, 1932, 1929, 1925, 1923, 1921, 1915, 1912, 1911, 1908, 1845, 1852, 1830, 1771.