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A New Era of Intense Volcanic Unrest May Have Begun

Posted by feww on September 26, 2008

2008/9 May be the Start of a New Period of Intense Global Volcanic Unrest

[SHIVELUCH: Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3,283 m]

Shiveluch Volcano in Kamchatka peninsula erupted at 08:00 local time on Friday (23:00 Moscow time, September 25) discharging a column of ash to an altitude of about 4.5km above sea level, Kamchatka office of the Geophysics Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Itar-Tass.  Shiveluch is one of the most active volcanoes on the Kamchatka peninsula.

KVERT had previously reported above background levels seismic activity at Shiveluch during 12-19 September. Seismic data analysis, video camera and visual observations indicated that “a small hot avalanche descended the SE side of the lava dome, producing an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.5 km, and drifted 100 km NE”, GVP reported.

Holocene Volcanoes in Kamchatka

Source of map:Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Kamchatka, Russia

[KARYMSKY Eastern Kamchatka 54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1,536 m]

Karymsky, another of Kamchatka’s volcanoes, also discharged ash to an altitude of about 3km Friday, possibly due to an explosion. This followed KVERT report for enhanced seismic activity at Karymsky during 12-19 September.

Kliuchevskoi

Klyuchevskaya Sopka [Kliuchevskoi,] Eurasia’s highest volcano (elevation of 4,700 m a.s.l.) was also reported as showing seismic activity that “considerably exceeded” the background level, with a total of 196 local quakes recorded during the previous 24 hours. Despite heightened thermal anomaly, no eruption was reported.


Kliuchevskoi is Kamchatka’s highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring on the NE (seen here) and SE flanks of the conical volcano at altitudes of 500-3600 m. Photo by E.Y. Zhdanova (courtesy of Oleg Volynets, Institute of Volcanology, Petropavlovsk). Source and Caption: GVP)

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7 Responses to “A New Era of Intense Volcanic Unrest May Have Begun”

  1. […] FEWW team also believe 2008/9 may be heralding the beginning of a new period of intense global volcanic unrest. […]

  2. peter ochs said

    trying to date lava fragments found in southern Styria, Austria.
    When was earliest/latest volcanic activity there?

    • feww said

      Hi Peter
      Alpine Pannonian Transition Zone volcanism:
      Early phase: Middle Miocene (potassic, acidic volcanism)
      Late Phase: Pliocene to Quartenary (characterized by alkaline basaltic lavas in the southeastern Styrian Basin).
      The chances are your samples are about 3.2 million years old. [Old-school field researchers might say 3.8 +/- 0.4 m.y.]
      Hope this helps.
      FEWW

  3. […] A New Era of Intense Volcanic Unrest May Have Begun […]

  4. feww said

    [Public release date: 26-Mar-2010]

    Contact: Jan Zalasiewicz
    jaz1@le.ac.uk
    University of Leicester

    The dawn of a new epoch?
    Researchers show how world has changed

    Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner – who suggest that the Earth has entered a new age of geological time.

    The Age of Aquarius? Not quite – It’s the Anthropocene Epoch, say the scientists writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. (web issue March 29; print issue April 1)

    And they add that the dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in the Earth’s history.

    Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams from the University of Leicester Department of Geology; Will Steffen, Director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute and Paul Crutzen the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist of Mainz University provide evidence for the scale of global change in their commentary in the American Chemical Society’s’ bi-weekly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

    The scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years.

    Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen and Crutzen contend that recent human activity, including stunning population growth, sprawling megacities and increased use of fossil fuels, have changed the planet to such an extent that we are entering what they call the Anthropocene (New Man) Epoch.

    First proposed by Crutzen more than a decade ago, the term Anthropocene has provoked controversy. However, as more potential consequences of human activity — such as global climate change and sharp increases in plant and animal extinctions — have emerged, Crutzen’s term has gained support. Currently, the worldwide geological community is formally considering whether the Anthropocene should join the Jurassic, Cambrian and other more familiar units on the Geological Time Scale.

    The scientists note that getting that formal designation will likely be contentious. But they conclude, “However these debates will unfold, the Anthropocene represents a new phase in the history of both humankind and of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces became intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other. Geologically, this is a remarkable episode in the history of this planet.”

    Note to newsdesk: For more information contact:

    Jan Zalasiewicz, Ph.D.
    University of Leicester,
    Department of Geology,
    University Road,
    Leicester,
    LE1 7RH, UK

  5. […] A New Era of Intense Volcanic Unrest May Have Begun […]

  6. […] A New Era of Intense Volcanic Unrest May Have Begun […]

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