Satellite captures five volcanoes erupting at once on the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula

Remote. Cold. Rugged. Those three adjectives capture the essence of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. Another word—perhaps more applicable than anywhere else on Earth—is “fiery.”

Of the roughly 1,550 volcanoes that have erupted in the recent geologic past, 113 are found on Kamchatka. Forty Kamchatkan volcanoes are “active,” either erupting now or capable of erupting on short notice. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured activity at five of them during a single satellite pass on April 14, 2014.

Imagery follows.

From geographic north to south (and top to bottom on this page), the volcanoes are Shiveluch, Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Kizimen, and Karymsky. The tallest of the group is Klyuchevskaya, a stratovolcano with a steep, symmetrical cone that reaches 4,750 meters (15,580 feet) above sea level. The most active is Karymsky, a 1,536-meter (5,039-foot) peak that has erupted regularly since 1996.

Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once

Shiveluch
acquired April 14, 2014 download large Shiveluch image (4 MB, JPEG, 3600×3600)
Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once

Klyuchevskaya
acquired April 14, 2014 download large Klyuchevskaya image (4 MB, JPEG, 3600×3600)
Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once

Bezymianny
acquired April 14, 2014 download large Bezymianny image (4 MB, JPEG, 3600×3600)
Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once

Kizimen
acquired April 14, 2014 download large Kizimen image (3 MB, JPEG, 3600×3600)
Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once

Karymsky
acquired April 14, 2014 download large Karymsky image (2 MB, JPEG, 3200×3200)

Plate tectonics is responsible for the many volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula. The Pacific Plate is slowly colliding with and sliding beneath the Okhotsk Plate. As rock from the Pacific Plate descends and encounters higher pressures and temperatures, it melts into magma. Over time, magma accumulates and migrates up toward the surface, causing volcanic eruptions.

Long before the discovery of plate tectonics, Kamchatka’s many volcanoes and eruptions were woven into a rich tapestry of myths and creation stories. According to Koryak folklore, the raven-like deity Kutkh created Kamchatka by dropping a giant feather on the Pacific Ocean. Each of the first generation of men became one of Kamchatka’s mountains at death; many of these mountains became volcanic because the men’s hearts burned so passionately for a beautiful woman that Kutkh had also created near the beginning of time.

In 2013, another NASA satellite collected imagery of Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Tolbachik, and Kizimen.

Story from NASA’s Earth Observatory

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60 Responses to Satellite captures five volcanoes erupting at once on the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula

  1. Keith A. Nonemaker says:

    Has anyone blamed this on global warming yet? I’m sure they will sooner or later.

  2. Oldseadog says:

    Amazing.
    And a colleague and his wife are going on holiday there shortly.
    I hope he takes his asbestos undies.

  3. njsnowfan says:

    God must be mad at Putin..

  4. Oldseadog says:

    Oops – make that “I hope both of them take etc..”

  5. MikeP says:

    I think the creation gods are mad at Russia … ;(

  6. MikeP says:

    Sigh … ngsnowfan got there first :(

  7. Mike Tremblay says:

    Keith A. Nonemaker says:
    April 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Has anyone blamed this on global warming yet? I’m sure they will sooner or later.
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    Here you go – This is my hypothesis linking global warming to volcanoes.

    The increased CO2 in the atmosphere is causing the solar radiation to focus on certain spots, creating hot spots which are hot enough to melt through the Earth’s crust and allow the magma to come to the surface – just like using a magnifying glass to burn a hole through paper.

    N.B. It’s just as crazy as some of the other hypotheses linked to CAGW.

  8. millennia97 says:

    “Capable of erupting on short notice” that’s the Russians for you, always ready ;)

  9. D. Cohen says:

    Here you go for another global warming hypothesis: Melting glaciers remove weight from the earth’s crust, leading to readjustment of the underlying rock and more volcanic eruptions (Can’t really take credit for this — believe someone was hypothesizing about this sort of connection when that icelandic volcano erupted a few years back or maybe it was in connection with the big Chilean earth quake.)

  10. mkelly says:

    The series “Wild Russia” did an episode on the animals of Kamchatka. One part was of a bear that got caught in a mud flow from an erupting volcano. The bears used the hot pools to sit in over during the winter. The film crew was able to get before and after of the volcanic activity. The bear did get out of the mud after much hard work.

    http://www.locatetv.com/tv/wild-russia/6395728
    The Kamchatka episode is on the 22 April.

  11. D. Cohen says:

    What I like most about this global-warming-volcano hypothesis is how easily it’s turned around: Global cooling leads to growth of glaciers and more weight on the earth’s crust, leading to readjustment of the underlying rock and then more volcanic eruptions. So the climatologists get grants with every big volcanic eruption whether the climate is warming or cooling — I guess they’re only out of luck if the temperature hangs steady, like it has for the last decade and a half or so.

  12. Dell from Michigan says:

    Keith A. Nonemaker says:
    “Has anyone blamed this on global warming yet? I’m sure they will sooner or later.”

    Of course, if its bad, it must somehow be caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere of 1/00th of 1%, regardless of the absense of any logic, scientific proof, etc.
    ;>P

    The liberal AGW leaders now have to come up with some formulated preconclusion AGW liinked study to give a basis for another tax to charge the people to research how to sequester CO2 in order to stop volcanoes from erupting in a remote area of frozen tundra in Russia.

  13. Resourceguy says:

    No, call this cooling held in reserve until it’s called up from the farm team to the big leagues excuse list for lack of warming.

  14. RACookPE1978 says:

    Hmmmn.

    Volcanoes are local phenomenon. Very local indeed if you want to consider “weight” on the local crust being changed.

    So, what is the actual change in weight of the actual (before and after) glacier mass on THESE particular 5 volcanoes? When did they last erupt, and what is their eruption pattern over the past 1000 years?

    For example – the active volcanoes of the Cascade Range erupt regularly – so one going off as Mt St Helens did recently is not unusual! Several others are “due” and “overdue” . Only a very, very few are extinct. Earthquakes along the St Andreas fault are considered “overdue” in several places – does global warming affect those if the southern CA area slides north 5 to 10 feet soon?

  15. Kenny says:

    Does this explain “The Pause”? Im sure it will sooner or later.

  16. omnologos says:

    If el Niño is a dud we’ll know who to blame

  17. Joel O'Bryan says:

    Trenberth’s taunting demon: A major El Chichón-scale eruption this summer, further suppressing the temperature records, could put a serious kibosh on any ElNino warming.

  18. mwhite says:

    “ALL-CLEAR IN THE STRATOSPHERE”

    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=19&month=12&year=2010

    “This is timely and important because the state of the stratosphere affects climate; a clear stratosphere “lets the sunshine in” to warm the Earth below. At a 2008 SORCE conference Keen reported that “The lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming.”

    http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=16&month=04&year=2014

    “TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE: On April 15th, all of the sunrises and sunsets on Earth got together and painted the Moon red. In other words, there was a total lunar eclipse. “The Moon turned a coppery orange during mid-totality,” says Steve Engleman who sends this picture Richardson, Texas:”

  19. Caleb says:

    That fifth volcano, Karymsky, leaves an impressive shadow of soot on the snow, down-wind. It would be interesting (and inexpensive) to use the satellite to watch that site, to see if the snow melts more swiftly there.

  20. Joel O'Bryan says:

    D Cohen writes: “What I like most about this global-warming-volcano hypothesis is how easily it’s turned around: Global cooling leads to growth of glaciers and more weight on the earth’s crust, leading to readjustment of the underlying rock and then more volcanic eruptions. So the climatologists get grants with every big volcanic eruption whether the climate is warming or cooling…”

    I give my students an easy-to-remember pseudo-science filter: The layman or non-expert is able to recognize “junk science” when the purveyor of the claim argues that all conceivable observations are consistent with a hypothesis, as it’s predictions are non-falsifiable then that hypothesis is junk.

  21. george e. smith says:

    Well my hometown has; or had some 60 volcanoes, inside the greater City area. We think none of them are active.

    Some of them have been dug up, or more accurately torn down to make gravel for roads; But they are all small ones.

    Five good size ones at once is not to sneeze at.

  22. Sean says:

    It’s not just the volcanos. There has been a remarkable amount of seismic activity since the first of April. There as been a Mag 8 quake in chile, at least 3 Mag 7 quakes and several Mag 6’s. All in a two week period. It seems the ring of fire wants to live up to it’s name.

  23. vukcevic says:

    There is some evidence that the winter Kamchatka volcano eruptions are cause of the Sudden Stratospheric Warming.

  24. R. de Haan says:

    Yea, and all the black soot completely ruining the snow and ice. It’s terrible.
    We have to shut down our economies, stop eating meat and get rid of all those plastic.
    The end is near.

  25. Greg Goodman says:

    Interesting. A map of where this peninsula is would be a good addition.

    If you follow the Aloutian island chain out [from] Alaska you get there. The peninsula ends another island chain running down to Japan. The main body of land seems to be about 55N.

  26. Greg Goodman says:

    Sean says:
    “It’s not just the volcanos. There has been a remarkable amount of seismic activity since the first of April. There as been a Mag 8 quake in chile, at least 3 Mag 7 quakes and several Mag 6′s. All in a two week period. It seems the ring of fire wants to live up to it’s name.”

    It may be significant that yesterdays eclipse is shortly after the equinox when the sun is centred over the equator. This means that additive effects of both the solar and lunar tidal forces on the Earth’s crust are centred on the equatorial region, tending to increase the oblateness of the Earth.

    Something has to give for this to happen.

    Off course Lief will be along soon with suitably filter data to assure us that there is not connection. ;)

  27. Gary Pearse says:

    Otherworldliness.

  28. Greg Goodman says:

    If my hypothesis that El Nino is a manifestation of slow subsurface tidal effects on the thermocline there may be stronger El Nino build up next year as the eclipses move even closer to coinciding with the equinox.

    These eclipse patterns repeat almost identically every 18 calendar years and 10 or 11 days. 18 y from 1998 would be 2016.

    BTW El Chichon erupted at very close to this time of year in 1982 with similar lunar configurations.

  29. sinewave says:

    Articles like this are part of the reason WUWT is such a great site

  30. Jack Simmons says:

    Here is my hypothesis:

    The ‘missing heat’ causing the current ‘pause’ was hiding under Kamchatka.

    This missing heat was just following the lead set by Snowden, who was also granted asylum by the great and benevolent Putin. Putin was gracious enough to grant unlimited asylum to the missing heat.

    This all ties in to the idea advanced by the geophysics master Danny Glover, who took time out from his busy schedule to explain how CO2 contributed to the Haitian earthquake. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2010/01/15/danny-glover-bizarre-explanation-for-haiti-earthquake/

    So Danny was a leader in the notion CO2 concentrations affect geology.

    In any event, as the world’s attention has been focused on the Ukraine, it was time for the hiding heat to come on out, relieving some of the political pressure on the great and beneficent Putin.

    Hence the volcanoes.

    All of this will, of course, lead to more CO2 in the atmosphere, part of the great positive feedback cycle triggered by all you selfish drivers of CO2 emitting vehicles.

    We can expect a sympathetic belch from those volcanoes with the unpronounceable names found in Iceland.

    Regards

  31. MikeUK says:

    Noooo, this will give the alarmists an explanation of the pause continuing, I’m sure right now they are running models, and we’ll hear about temperature trends being “consistent-with” CAGW.

  32. DirkH says:

    MikeUK says:
    April 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    “Noooo, this will give the alarmists an explanation of the pause continuing, I’m sure right now they are running models”

    So what; the system media is never mentioning the Global Warming hiatus anyway when running propaganda for warmism.

  33. Robert W Turner says:

    What is that white stuff on the mountains? I am too young to know what it is.

  34. Paul Westhaver says:

    Anthony quotes a myth: “…many of these mountains became volcanic because the men’s hearts burned so passionately for a beautiful woman that Kutkh had also created near the beginning of time.”

    I like this explanation better than run-of-the-mill plate tectonics.

    Great photos BTW.

  35. Jack Simmons says:

    Robert W Turner says:
    April 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    What is that white stuff on the mountains? I am too young to know what it is.

    Baby boomer generation’s stash of unused cocaine.

  36. Catcracking says:

    Global warming? I thought it was fracking

  37. starzmom says:

    The eruptions are caused by fracking.

  38. TomRude says:

    Retors (UK): Secretary of Spade Kerry blamed the 5 concomittent volcanoe eruptions in Kamchatka on Russia’s imperialist plan to sabotage the findings of the IPCC about Anthropogenic Global Warming by unlawfully releasing dangerous amounts of aerosols aimed at compromising the integrity of the GISS Temp records. It is expected that Senator McCain (R) recent speeches about the international situation would counter the Russian threat through large amount of hot, greenhouse charged, air, maintaining the delicate balance of credibility needed to further peace, burgers and fries in a new world order.

  39. Athelstan. says:

    The inconsistent but meddlesome and endlessly expansionary EU caused the ‘eruption’.

    Astute as ever, Vladimir is mopping up ‘riding the ‘wave’ and Kamchatka can blow all she wants.

  40. inMAGICn says:

    CO2 is actually very important in (crustal) geology, but not as most people envision. CO2 is, as many pointed out, plant food, hence from it comes abundant life, hence coal and oil deposits, etc. But beyond that, CO2 is the basis for carbonate rocks and some other carbon-rich rocks. We are talking coral reefs and other carbonate deposits that become dolomite, calcite, limestone, and even marble. The greatest “sequester” of CO2 is not in the air or in biomass, but in rocks.
    Btw, carbolic acid derives eventually from CO2/CO3(–) and makes for interesting erosion features, including caves.

  41. The heat IS hiding in the oceans (maybe). Some studies say the crust is thinner in the ocean depths and the mantle puts a lot more heat into the deep oceans than on the continents by a factor of about 10. I have a reference somewhere and that same reference notes that energy from the sun is two orders of magnitude higher than the flux from the mantle. However, it is likely that there is some deep ocean heating going on?? I never see comments on this aspect of heat production here although I have seen it in historical geological publications and some waxing about flexing due to astronomic anomalies. Perhaps they are so tiny as not to matter … like CO2? (kidding) But WUWT?

  42. Matt says:

    What do you mean by remote? Sarah Palin can see those eruptions from her kitchen window… It’s all about mosquitos there…

  43. Brent Walker says:

    Don’t joke about the Icelandic volcanoes. The one that is showing a bit of restlessness at the moment is Hekla, otherwise known as “the gateway to hell”.
    Seriously though, anyone who has studied gravitational tidal forces will understand that the tidal force friction causes very small increases in temperature in magma. Because there is a near equilibrium between magma and the calderas of volcanoes (and the friction holding tectonic plates in current positions) a slight increase in the temperature of any part of the magma will cause movement in volcanoes and tectonic plates in that area. Since the gas giant planets got close to an alignment in 2003-2007 one would have expected a significant increase in seismic activity across the planet. This has happened. There has been about a six to seven fold increase in great earthquakes since 2003 compared to the previous 50 years.
    As there is no good record to judge the volcanic activity it is not possible to put a reasonably precise figure on the increase of volcanic activity but it seems to be occurring. Also the volcanic activity is increasing because of the weakening of silicate rich calderas of volcanoes due to the increased production of muons caused by the higher level of comic rays getting through to Earth as a result of the weakening solar magnetic field. This seems to be caused by the effect on the sun’s jet streams (and hence electric currents) of the near planetary alignment. Remember that the sun’s plasma jet streams lie mainly in the outer two thirds of the sun where the plasma density is predominantly less that the density of Earth’s stratosphere and so can be influenced by the weak tidal forces caused by the partial alignment of the gas giants much in the same way as Earth’s oceans and atmosphere is influenced by the alignment of the sun, moon and Earth..

  44. bushbunny says:

    You know I have never heard of these, but are they just vents or large fissures that release steam and small stuff, I call them tuffs, and actually if they were Strato volcanoes, like Vesuvius, they would melt all the ice around them. But very interesting.I think they are shield volcanoes at worse, not composite or Strato that push out pyroclastic flows of gas, ash and rocks, plus poisonous stuff at 200 km a hour. They are not dangerous, unless you walk to close to them.

  45. carbonateguy says:

    inMAGICn says:
    April 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Btw, carbolic acid derives eventually from CO2/CO3(–) and makes for interesting erosion features, including caves.

    I think you mean Carbonic acid – a weak acidic solution of CO2 dissolved in rainwater or groundwater

  46. RoHa says:

    We have always been doomed from planetary alignment.

  47. bushbunny says:

    What about Yellow Stone park? I read that underneath is the biggest reservoir of magma on earth.

  48. u.k.(us) says:

    If we’re not careful,
    http://www.wired.com/category/eruptions

    will read us the “riot act”.
    Just say’n.

  49. bushbunny says:

    Volcanic eruptions happen all the time, there is one in Australian territory in Antarctica. But it doesn’t threaten human life. There are more subterranean volcanoes too than terrestrial ones. They can cause loss of life too from tsunamis.

  50. gymnosperm says:

    We live in very interesting times. Even a plate tectonics is cited over and over again (as here) to explain geological phenomena, modern seismology is systematically kicking the wooden leg from beneath the operative mechanism. Instead of reasonable mantle convection we have LLSVP’s, mutant root canals from the core that do not support the system of ocean spreading ridges.

    http://geosciencebigpicture.com/2014/04/13/doughboys/

    Alas, we must begin to seriously consider electromagnetic models in geology. What moves rocks can all the more easily move air. The ring currents are terra and aire incognita.

  51. Hoser says:

    One volcano name is actually not a name at all:

    Bezymianny (Russian: Безымянный — lit. unnamed).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bezymianny

    Bez is ‘without’, imya is ‘name’. The suffix provides the tense. Maybe we can ask the Russians to name it Вулкан Гор, that is, Volcano Gore after one of the biggest blowhards we know. The Russians might also like it because Al’s daddy was bought and paid for by Armand Hammer, a USSR supporter and likely soviet agent doing business as so-called citizen diplomacy(http://english.pravda.ru/history/23-05-2012/121214-armand_hammer_soviet_union-0/ and http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/armand_hammer.htm).

  52. Paul says:

    I am seeking some help/assistance from a volcanologist. I live in New Zealand, Mount Taranaki sits about 5km from us. Geonet.co.nz gives information on New Zealand’s volcanoes and under Mount Taranaki/Mount Egmont the RSAM and SSAM data is showing signs of volcanic Tremors. A volcanologist from Geonet has said it is due to bad weather but would like a second opinion. Any takers?

  53. Adam says:

    Could this be the evil illuminati using HAARP to destroy Russia over the Ukraine-thing-ame-bobby? [/sarc]

  54. Mr Green Genes says:

    , Greg Goodman says:
    April 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    If my hypothesis that El Nino is a manifestation of slow subsurface tidal effects on the thermocline there may be stronger El Nino build up next year as the eclipses move even closer to coinciding with the equinox.

    These eclipse patterns repeat almost identically every 18 calendar years and 10 or 11 days. 18 y from 1998 would be 2016.
    =====================================
    If there is anything in your hypothesis, it should have shown up in 1980, 1962, 1944 etc. Did it?

  55. johnmarshall says:

    Volcanoes are the largest natural producer of CO2. Our 3% is nothing in comparison.

  56. vukcevic says:

    Mr Green Genes says:
    April 17, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Greg Goodman says:
    April 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    If my hypothesis that El Nino is a manifestation of slow subsurface tidal effects on the thermocline there may be stronger El Nino build up next year as the eclipses move even closer to coinciding with the equinox.
    =====================================
    If there is anything in your hypothesis, it should have shown up in 1980, 1962, 1944 etc. Did it?
    …………………
    Greg may well be correct, I also think it is a sub-surface factor, however I think it comes from the seafloor tectonics, there were some strong EQs there few days ago and that may be a trigger for next fluctuation, but I have not updated the graph (see here ) for some time now.

  57. johndo says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    April 16, 2014 at 11:04 am
    bushbunny says:
    April 16, 2014 at 7:17 pm
    I have been looking up the volcanoes activity at http://www.volcano.si.edu/
    Karymsky does not seem to have done much, but Shiveluch had several VEI ?3 events from July 2013 to Feb 2014. I don’t know if any of this ash has made it to the stratosphere to produce stratospheric warming over Alaska and Canada.
    Joel O’Bryan says:
    April 16, 2014 at 11:18 am
    There seem to have been 4 eruption events VEI 5 or greater during the satelite temperature measurement period, Mt St Helens, El Chichon, Pinatubo and ?Kelud.
    I have not worked out how to look at the daily satellite stratospheric temperature records to see if there is any effect from Kelud.

  58. Tom O says:

    Here’s my theory on how CO2 is to blame for the volcanic activity. As the CO2 increases, the atmosphere weighs more, and this increase in weight causes shifts in the rock strata, allowing magma to move easier and volcanoes to erupt.

    Additionally, this increase in weight is transferred to the oceans as energy, and it forces the heat generated by this increased pressure to sink to the bottom of the ocean, taking excess solar heat with it.

    Makes sense, right? ;-) Should I apply for a grant to validate my idea?

  59. bushbunny says:

    Go ahead, lesser beings have been successful. LOL

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