1996 eruption of Karymsky, Kamchatka, Russia

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Karymsky volcano, Kamchatka, Russia

Eruptions in 1970, 1976 and 1996

volcano number: 1000-13= (according to Volcanoes of the World, 1994 edition)

summit elevation: 1486 m

location: 54.05°N, 159.43°E

Karymsky, a small andesitic stratovolcano within an early Holocene caldera, erupted on the evening (local time) of 1 January 1996. The initial activity came from a new vent within Akademija Nauk Caldera, about 5 km south of the summit, and from a new vent on the SSW flank of the active intracaldera cone. Lava effusion occurred from the summit crater until February. Activty was continuing as of 8 March.

Karymsky has been in almost constant eruption from 1960 until late 1982 and displayed a wide spectrum of activity in that period. Strombolian activity would often develop into more violent Vulcanian activity with occasional paroclastic flows (see upper photo below). At other times, the volcano quietly emitted sluggish andesitic lava flows that covered large areas on the caldera floor (lower photo below). It is most probable that the new eruption will be of a very similar character. Since no settlements lie in the region affected by the activity, the only hazard is airplane encounters with ash plumes.

Vulcanian explosion of Karymsky volcano on 12 May 1970. Pyroclastic avalanches rush down the slope of the cone to the caldera floor around its base. The photo was taken by N.V. Ogorodov (Institute of Volcanology, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia) and published in the "1970 Annual Report of the Smithsonian Center for Short-Lived Phenomena".

Slow extrusion of a multilobed lava flow on the NW flank of Karymsky in 1976. There was very little explosive activity during this period. The photo was taken on 20 June 1976 by P.P. Firstova (Institute of Volcanology, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia) and published in the "Bulletin of the Volcanological Station" No. 54 (1978).

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