Kamchatka Shiveluch volcano: basic information

The Shiveluch volcano is the most northern active volcano in Kamchatka and one of the largest on the peninsula. The diameter of its base is fifty kilometers. It consists of two parts - the Old and the Young Shiveluch.

Dimensions of the old volcano

The old Kamchatka Shiveluch volcano is a stratovolcano. It is composed of coarse clastic material, which is interbedded with lava. This natural structure is crowned by a large caldera, whose diameter is nine kilometers. Its ledges are very well preserved, their height varies from hundreds of meters to one and a half kilometers around the main peak. In the process of its formation from the bowels of the Earth, more than sixty cubic kilometers of pyroclastic material, spread over a fairly large area, was thrown out: it reaches the riverbed of the Kamchatka River and even further.

The dimensions of a young volcano

At the bottom of this caldera, closer to the north-western edge of it is the young volcano Shiveluch. It is represented by several extruded merged domes (Double, Suelich, Central and others) with insignificant lava flows, which have an andesitic and andesitocytic composition. The diameter of the base of this formation is seven kilometers. In 1964, the Shiveluch volcano erupted , as a result of strong explosions, these domes were almost completely destroyed, and in their place a huge double crater was formed. Its diameter was 1.7 kilometers for the northern part and 2 kilometers for the southern part. As a result of the eruption, material was thrown out of the bowels, which was deposited on the southern slope with a continuous cloak, its thickness from one to fifty meters. Coverage area was more than a hundred square kilometers, and the volume - one and a half cubic kilometers. In 1980 a new extrusive dome began to form inside the northern crater, which consists of andesite. The growth of this education continues to our days. It is accompanied by a variety of explosive explosions. The most active dome squeezing occurred in 1993. Then he occupied almost the entire territory of the northern crater.

History of the origin of the volcano

Given the above structure, the Shiveluch volcano is referred to the volcanic buildings of the Somma-Vesuvius class. This formation is the largest construction of this type. The origin and development of the volcano, according to geologists, occurred during the Upper Pleistocene, about seventy thousand years ago. The most serious catastrophic eruptions occur with a periodicity of one hundred three hundred years. The last of these was observed in 1854 and in 1964, that is, the interval was 110 years. Medium strength and weak eruptions occur much more often, usually they are accompanied by the growth of extrusive domes. This is observed at the present time.

General information: where is the Shiveluch volcano?

By mass and volume of igneous products, the frequency of strong eruptions, the speed of removal of matter, this natural formation is one of the most unique volcanoes of Kamchatka, as well as the Kurile Islands. This active ancient geological object is one of the largest on the peninsula. Shiveluch is located eighty kilometers to the north of the Klyuchevsky volcano. It is located on the Kamchatka River, in the midst of a stretch of many tens of kilometers of lowlands, covered with swamps. If the artist's goal was to depict a vicious old man in the guise of a natural object, an angry old man, then for nature one should take the Shiveluch volcano. This is a huge natural object, consisting of cone formations of different species and ages, gnawed by gorges, craters and dips that existed for many thousands of years, still continuing from time to time to erupt with catastrophic eruptions that destroy all life.

Forming parts

After the formation of the main cone of the volcano as a result of failures and explosions in its southern part, an extensive caldera was formed. Inside, a young cone appeared. Later in the primary caldera another caldera-crater grew. She destroyed part of the young cone. Here in this place, as the most subtle, and began to occur subsequent eruptions. The part of the ancient cone that has survived to this day is called the "Home Vertex", it is the highest point of this geological object. And the younger cone is called the "Crater Vertex". The height of the volcano Shiveluch in the highest point is 3335 meters, and in its young part - 2700 meters.

History of eruptions

The eruption of the volcano Shiveluch in Kamchatka is explosive. In the last century, emissions occurred in 1925, 1944, 1950, and 1964. The last eruption was very short-lived, but extremely strong. As a result, the explosive cloud was raised to fifteen-kilometer high and moved towards the ocean. Its thickness was constantly cut by bright lightning. The entire territory east of the volcano, down to Ust-Kamchatka and even further, plunged into darkness. An extremely large amount of the blown up rock was thrown out at a 15-kilometer distance, it covered the ground with a thick layer, which in some places reached from a few to tens of meters. All shrubs and forests were either buried, or burned, all living things that could not escape beforehand or fly away, perished. It is known that many birds and animals can foresee the approach of earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes: crawl out of their burrows, begin to show concern, seek to get out of the premises. So, the catastrophic eruption of Shiveluch volcano in November 1964 was preceded by seismic shocks, which began a month before the emissions themselves. With each passing day their intensity increased. And two days before the eruption, the number reached more than a hundred a day. How did the animals behave at this time?

From the stories of the old-timers

That's what the local hunter AM Chudinov (at the time he was nineteen years old) was telling. Two or three days before the eruption, one could observe a massive and very unusual crossing of the bears from the left bank of the river to the right bank of the Kamchatka valley. And this despite the fact that in November all the animals were hibernating, but a presentiment of impending disaster made them leave their warm, warm lairs and go to the hungry and cold winter for them. Simultaneously, the number of other animals, such as hares, foxes, has significantly increased on the right bank. Apparently, they also migrated from Shiveluch.

Immediately before the eruption itself, it was possible to visually observe increased seismic activity. So, according to the stories of the inhabitants of the Keys, located quite high above the sea level, it was evident that a series of waves passed over the surface of the large, ice-covered Kurchazhnoe Lake lying on the other side of the river.

After the eruption of 1964, only fumarolic activity is observed on Shiveluche. The volcano itself is located in a remote area, its rare expeditions visit.


In the morning of June 1, 2014, the volcano Shiveluch made a powerful ash release. Its height was more than seven kilometers. Further, the plume began to spread in the southeast direction to the Kamchatka Gulf. Today this geological object is assigned an orange code (one of the most dangerous). His activity began to increase from 2009, at this time a cleft of 30 meters deep formed at the top. Based on the growth of seismic activity, scientists draw conclusions that at the moment there is a "preparation" for the next powerful eruption of Shiveluch.

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