Kliuchevskoi, Russia

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Satellites and space travel have provided some truly amazing pictures of volcanic eruptions.

Ask people to name a country with volcanoes, and chances are they won't name Russia, but Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most volcanically active regions of the world. In the view shown here, taken from the Space Shuttle, an eruption cloud from Kliuchevskoi ascends to the base of the stratosphere and then blows downwind (east) out over the Pacific Ocean. A pyroclastic flow simultaneously descends down the northern (left) flank of the volcano. To the immediate right of Kliuchevskoi (15,863 feet or 4850 meters) is its near twin, Kamen (15,042 feet or 4,585 meters). These are the two highest volcanoes on Kamchatka. The small cone to the right of Kamen with the small smoke plume is Bezymianny (9,453 feet or 2,882 meters). Although "bezymianny" means "nameless" in Russian, Bezymianny made quite a name for itself in March, 1956 when it unleashed a huge eruption very similar to the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980. After the eruption it had a huge bowl virtually identical to Mount Saint Helens, but its lava dome has grown much faster and nearly filled the crater by now.

The big snow covered cone to the right with the prominent crater is Tobalchik, and the small peak to its east is Udina. The snow covered peak in front of Kliuchevskoi is Ushkovsky. Sheets of low clouds blanket the ground south of the volcanoes and in the near corner of the scene.

Location of Kliuchevskoi: 56o 03' 25" N, 160o 38' 35" E. View is looking east.

Original Scene

(NASA image)

Possible Coloring

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Created 17 December 2007, Last Update 15 January 2020