Kizimen Volcano | John Seach


Kamchatka, Russia

55.130 N, 160.32 E
summit elevation 2485 m

Kizimen volcano is located in Shchapina graben, on the southeastern edge of the Central Kamchatka Depression. The volcano is similar to Unzen in Japan in its characteristics.

The northwestern side of Kizimen volcano is cut by NE-SW-trending, westward-dipping normal faults, which form a series of cliffs.

Kizimen volcano is one of the least understood active volcanoes in Kamchatka. It has the potential to produce a Mount St Helens style eruption.

Tephrachronological data show several catastrophic eruptions in evolution of Kizimen volcano.

2013 Activity
Kizimen volcano was raised to orange alert on 31 December 2012 after an increase in seismicity. In the previous 24 hours 357 earthquakes were recorded under the volcano. A crater glow was present and lava on the slopes. Possible eruption on 10 January 2013 with ash to 14,000 ft altitude.

2011 Eruptions
Eruptions continue at Kizimen volcano, Kamchatka with explosions and pyroclastic flows. Seismic activity is high, with volcanic tremor recorded. A hotspot was present over the volcano during the week up to 7th January, which indicates a probable lava flow. On 1st January an ash plume extended 500 km SSW of the volcano and ashfall was recorded at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Yelizovo, Paratunka, Nalychevo and all Southern Kamchatka. On 5th January ash emissions extended over 500 km ENE of the volcano and ashfall was recorded in the Komandorsky Islands.

2009-10 Eruptions
Several new fumaroles were formed at Kizimen volcano, Kamchatka in middle of November 2010. A helicopter flight around the volcano on 20th November 2010 showed several new fumaroles at summit and south-western flank of the volcano. Activity of an old fumarole "Revuschaya" (which is known since 1960) at the north-eastern volcanic flank decreased. A small amount of ash was visible on south-western flank of the volcano. On 5th December 2010 ash emissions reached a distance of 838 km NE of the volcano. Seismic activity at the volcano began increasing in July 2009.

Seismic activity at Kizimen volcano increased significantly from 9th December 2010. A hotspot appeared over the volcano from 01:10 UTC on 10th December. A volcanic ash advisory reported emissions to 9000 ft on 10th December.

2004 Earthquakes
Four tectonic earthquakes occurred at the volcano on 1st March 2004. The earthquakes were less than magnitude 3.7.

1927-28 Eruption
An eruption was observed by local hunters in 1928. The eruption was probably small, because no deposits from this event can be found at the base of the volcano. The eruption was accompanied by frequent earthquakes, and described as having “fire flames” in the crater and black smoke from a location where fumaroles are now located.

Further reading
Shakirova, A. and Firstov, P., 2022. Features of the Kizimen Volcano area seismicity prior to and during the 2010–2013 eruption. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 421, p.107420.

Auer, A., Belousov, A. and Belousova, M., 2018. Deposits, petrology and mechanism of the 2010–2013 eruption of Kizimen volcano in Kamchatka, Russia. Bulletin of volcanology, 80(4), pp.1-24.

Ji, L., Lu, Z., Dzurisin, D. and Senyukov, S., 2013. Pre-eruption deformation caused by dike intrusion beneath Kizimen volcano, Kamchatka, Russia, observed by InSAR. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 256, pp.87-95.

Melekestsev, I.V., Ponomareva, V.V. and Volynets, O.N., 1995. Kizimen volcano, Kamchatka—A future Mount St. Helens?. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 65(3-4), pp.205-226.

Kizimen Volcano Eruptions

2010-13, 1927-28, 850 AD?, 700 AD ± 50, 350 AD ± 75, 1010 BC?, 4050 BC?, 4450 BC?, 5800 BC ± 50, 6400 BC ± 50, 8050 BC?