13 comments on “The Tolbachik Hot Corner

  1. Great read agimarc!! Crazy bit of the planet that corner. I don’t think we should be too worried about the absence of calderas .. Shiveluch has one and there are some biggies further south. It also looks like the active front is sidestepping towards the plate margin (roll-back) and maybe the Kluichevskoi group is still a bit too young to go full caldera on us just yet.. Obviously with all that basalt in the southern part of the group, there is not a lot of magma storage going on at shallow levels to rejuvenate crustal material (i.e. it is just shunting straight up from the deep source, like you explained). Maybe Plosky is the best candidate for a large caldera eruption as activity moves eastwards and the volcano has a long enough repose time for felsic magmas to evolve.


  2. Howdy Bruce – Hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for the comment.

    One of the things I haven’t explored is why the line of active volcanoes has migrated east across Kamchatka. As I look at the maps, the current front is the third and youngest line. In the group itself, it almost seems like the general movement of activity is slowly southbound, though as young as the group is, and as spread out as the 4 currently active volcanoes are, that may be a distinction without a difference or splitting hairs.

    Ushkovsky already has a 5 km caldera on top of it. I expect 2 – 3 of the active stratovolcanoes including Shiveluch are future possibilities. What I was thinking of when talking about ignimbrite outbreak and caldera formation was multiple nested 20 – 40 km diameter calderas like we saw in Colorado and the Andes. We see some of this farther south in Kamchatka but not this far north yet. Have no idea what it means other than more clues to something.

    It is one of the more fascinating groups I have come across. Thanks again. Cheers –


    • One of my bucket list excursions is a bit of trout fishing in Kamchatka. If the group can hold off large caliber festivities until that trip is done, I will be a happy fat man. Cheers –


  3. Hi all, no sooner had I left my computer for a week than things got lively in the volcano world! 😉 Thanks agimark for your post on the most interesting volcanic area in the world (in my opinion); and here are some news from the past 8 days:

    +++ On Tuesday, 27/09, Rinjani had a short-lived 2000m-ash-eruption which nevertheless caused the closure of several airports in Lombok and eastern Java. Authorities tried hard to evacuate the more than 1000 tourists in the area but, would you believe it, a number of them hid in the bushes in order to take great eruption photos…

    +++ An Aqua MODIS satellite image from Thursday, 29/09, shows the plumes of three erupting volcanoes in the South Sandwich Island chain: Zavodovski, Mount Michael and Bristol Island:

    +++ Due to the unusually high level of unrest at Katla IMO set the aviation colour code from green to yellow on Friday, 30/09. An intense earthquake swarm had begun on 29/09. Civil Protection also closed the road to Sólheimajökull glacier and it was forbidden to walk onto the glacier. Jon Frimann writes on Sept. 30: “During the last 48 hours a total of 261 earthquake has happened in Katla volcano. Largest earthquakes during the last 24 hours had magnitudes of 3,1 and 3,2. The largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,6.” – All restrictions have been removed today as the swarm had ended. As no harmonic tremor has been detected it is not thought the seismic activity was connected with a possible eruption of Katla.

    +++ Turrialba threw out ash on and off all week, which is becoming a nuisance for water supplies and agriculture.

    +++ In Mexico, volcan Colima began shedding its current lava dome over the weekend, with a 4-km-plume, pyroclastic flows and lava eruptions so strong that some nearby villages had to be evacuated.

    The eruption is still going on, GIF images from last night:

    +++ On Sunday, 02/10, a considerable earthquake swarm of around 100 quakes with magnitudes between 1 and 2 occurred on the Canarian island Teneriffe. INVOLCAN have published a statement today saying that the quakes very probably had been connected with the hydrothermal system below volcan Teide. http://www.involcan.org/noticias/

    +++ Also since yesterday one of our usual customers is showing strong activity, namely Fuego in Guatemala:

    +++ In spite of INETERS’s continued reports of low gas- and steam emissions, Momotombo (Nicaragua) has been showing quite strong plumes recently. This from today:

    +++ This afternoon, 03/10, Ubinas in Peru finally had an ash eruption, which had been expected for a while by the unrest at the seismograms for the last couple of weeks:

    +++ And here are new pics of sprites, generated by the hurricane Matthew. They “were located about 400 miles southwest of my location in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico,” wrote Frankie Lucena, who also captured the sprites in a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=all0IAXa2UA).


  4. This is the latest webcam aquisition on the EMSD website: view from Бульвар Пийпа in Petropavlovsk to the volcanoes Koryakskaya sopka (left) and Avachinsky, 20 km NE of the town.


  5. Agimarc:
    Dfm retweeted this to us with the remark: “@volcanohotspot: something for agimarc!😊”
    | Oct 6 is anniv of #Augustine 1883 eruption. VEI4, debris avalanche, tsunami – read more http://bit.ly/2e5tJHd | From this page I found a link to this interesting paper on Augustine: http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1762/

    Do you know how to access the images/items that are icons for resources on the AVO library pages?


    • Howdy Granyia – Thanks to dfm for the reminder. Knew about the 1883 debris avalanche. Didn’t know that Oct 6 was the anniversary date. From the AVO description:

      “The irregular coastline of Augustine Island is due to the repeated catastrophic collapse of the summit dome, forming debris avalanches down the flanks and into Cook Inlet. At least 11 avalanches have occurred in the past 2000 years with an average recurrence interval of about 150-200 years [2] [3].”

      All I do is to click on the links for images / documents to find them. You can then click on the images themselves to see them. Usually a high res version is available.

      The docs are a bit more problematic, as some are not available from AVO. Usually, I open another tab and giggle the title to find them. At worst, I get the abstract. Cheers –


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