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Sheveluch Volcano Erupts Violently, Kamchatka Peninsula

The Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) has reported that the Kamchatka Peninsula volcano, Sheveluch, has erupted explosively during the past weekend.

According to their reports, the explosive phase of the Sheveluch eruption began on Saturday, May 19, when at 04:56 UTC (Universal Time), producing an ash cloud that soared to a height of 33,000 feet. The eruption produced small pyroclastic flows and hot avalanches, and was accompanied by intense seismicity. It was preceded by small steam-gas emissions on May 12 and on May 17, along with occasional periods of robust seismicity. The eruption was reported to have lasted about 40 minutes.

Two more smaller volcanic eruption followed on May 20, one at 06:25 UTC and the other at 07:14, sending ash clouds to about 15,000 ft.

Then, at 18:13 UTC, May 20, Sheveluch erupted violently again, this time sending a cloud of hot ash, steam and gases to an estimated height of 35,000 to 40,000 ft. KVERT reported a large thermal anomaly over the volcano from satellite imagery take shortly after the eruption, indicating hot magma at the surface.

The volcanic eruptions follow on and off seismicity, small steam and ash emissions, along with rapid dome growth, since about August of last year. These were the largest eruptions of Sheveluch since 1993.

Sheveluch is a great strato-volcano located in the north-central Kamchatka (AVO location Map).

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has coordinated a list of past KVERT reports (here) and Global Volcanism Program at the Smithsonian Institution has excellent summaries of historic Sheveluch activity (here).

Other notable links:

For more information about this and other local, regional and global earthquakes, visit

Late update: Monday May 21, 2001; 12:40 p.m. PDT.


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Charles P. Watson
President and Chief Geologist
Seismo-Watch, Inc.
P.O. Box 18012
Reno, Nevada 89511
Phone: 775-852-0992
Fax: 775-852-3226
E-mail: [email protected]


Seismo-Watch, Inc.
P.O. Box 18012 , Reno, NV 89511-8012
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Office: 775-852-0992 / Fax: 775-852-3226