In news– The Shiveluch volcano in Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula may be gearing up for its first powerful eruption in 15 years.
About the Volcano-
- Shiveluch is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Kamchatka, having erupted at least 60 times in the past 10,000 years.
- It has two main parts: Old Shiveluch, which tops 3,283 metres (10,771 ft), and Young Shiveluch – a smaller, 2,800-metre peak protruding from its side.
- Young Shiveluch lies within an ancient caldera – a large crater-like basin that likely formed when the older part underwent a catastrophic eruption at least 10,000 years ago.
- It is this part that has become extremely active and has been warned that the volcano’s lava dome continues to grow and that stronger “fumarole activity” has been observed.
- Domes are mounds that form from accumulating lava, and fumaroles are openings through which hot sulphurous gases emerge.
- The volcano has been continuously erupting since August 1999, but occasionally undergoes powerful explosive events, including in 2007, when NASA said it ejected a large ash cloud 9,750 metres (32,000 ft) into the sky.
- Kamchatka is home to 29 active volcanoes, part of a vast belt of Earth known as the “Ring of Fire” which circles the Pacific Ocean and is prone to eruptions and frequent earthquakes.
- Most of the peninsula’s volcanoes are surrounded by sparsely populated forest and tundra, so pose little risk to local people, but big eruptions can spew glass, rock and ash into the sky, threatening aircraft.
- According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), these kinds of eruptions typically happen three or four times a year in Kamchatka, requiring air traffic to be rerouted.
- Six volcanoes in Russia’s northeast are currently showing signs of increased activity, including Eurasia’s highest active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which began erupting most recently.