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Chikurachki stratovolcano forms highest peak on Paramushir Island in the northern Kurile island arc just south of Kamchatka Peninsula. It is one of the region's most active volcanoes.
The volcano itself is a relatively small cone, compared to other volcanoes of the Kurile Islands, but it is built on top of the high-lying remnants of an older and now extinct predecessor volcano. The dominantlyc basaltic one has steep slopes with little erosion and a shallow summit crater of approximately 450 m in diameter. The upper part of Chikurachki's cone is red, caused by oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits.
Eruptions of Chikurachki volcano: There are 2 principal types of eruptions from Chikurachki: 1) frequent strombolian (mildly explosive) eruptions, such as in 1958, 1961, 1964, 1973, 2002, 2003, and 2) (sub-)plinian (extremely violent and dangerous) explosive eruptions such as in 1853 and 1986.
The strombolian-type eruptions usually last between several days to few weeks, and produce ejections of incandescent lava reaching 100-500 m height above the crater, but can occasionally produce ash plumes of up to 3 km height.
Many eruptions from Chikurachki are accompanied by lava flows. Some have reached the sea and form capes on the NW coast, and there are young lava flows on the upper eastern flank.
Basaltic plinian eruptions are a globally rare phenomenon, but common at Chikurachki volcano, and it is estimated that they have occurred every 100–200 years. Such eruptions - similar to the Icelandic Grimsvötn's eruption in June 2011 - are capable of producing tall ash plumes reaching 10-20 km and pose a significant hazard to aviation in an area densely populated by flight routes from N-America to Asia.
Ash plume from Chikurachki volcano today seen on Terra satellite (NASA)
The new eruptive phase, detected through satellite images since yesterday, continues. Ash emissions have increased today and form a plume stretching about 50 km to the NE and reaching the southern tip of Kamchatka. ...more
Tokyo VAAC estimates the altitude of the plume which is moving at 35 knots to be at 10,000 ft (3 km). [less]
Ash plume from Chikurachki volcano today (Tokyo VAAC)
A new eruption was reported by Tokyo VAAC who discovered new ash emissions from the volcano since yesterday morning. The ash plume observed on Himawari 8 satellite imagery rose to estimated 18,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude and drifted over 150 km to the NE passing the southern part of the Kamchatka peninsula. ...more
Based on satellite imagery, it seems that the eruption started as a violent explosive event yesterday at 03:20 UTC (14:20 afternoon local time). The ash plume reached Kamchatka's southern tip 3 hours later, spreading at an average of approx. 30 knots. Chikurachki, one of the many active and rarely directly observed volcanoes in the Kurile Arc, has often produced short-lived, but sudden and very violent explosive eruptions in the past years. [less]
Ash plume from Chikurachki volcano on 30 Mar 2016 (Terra satellite / NASA)
A new eruption is occurring from the remote volcano on Paramushir Island immediately to the south of the Kamchatka peninsula. ...more
Since 29 March, ash emissions have been seen on satellite images. The ash plume increased yesterday, reaching altitudes of 3-4 km (9-12,000 ft) and extending up to 150-200 km into south- and southwesterly directions. KVERT raised the Aviation Color code to orange (as many trans-Pacific flight routes pass nearby) and warns that "ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft." [less]
A strong explosive eruption occurred from the volcano on Paramushir island last evening, producing an ash plume that rose to 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude and drifted quickly west, already more than 200 km distance. The Aviation Color Code was raised to red. ...more
Smaller ash emissions have been following, visible in a hole of clouds over the northern and central Kuriles on NASA's Terra satellite images. KVERT warns that a larger explosion, with ash plumes of 10 km or more, could occur. After Klyuchevskoy, Shiveluch, Zhupanovsky and Karymski volcanoes on Kamchatka, it is the fith Russian volcano currently erupting in the region, posing danger to aviation. [less]
KVERT reported that clouds prevented satellite image views of Chikurachki during 8-15 August. The level of seismicity was unknown because Chikurachki lacks dedicated seismic instruments. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange. ...more
KVERT reported that ash plumes from Chikurachki were visible on satellite imagery and drifted NW on 20 October. Clouds obscured views of the summit on other days during 19-26 October. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange
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The term for all fine-grained volcanic products fragmented during explosive eruptions.
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