Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 69, Issue 7, pp 811–815 | Cite as

Detection of a new summit crater on Bezymianny Volcano lava dome: satellite and field-based thermal data

  • Adam J. CarterEmail author
  • Michael S. Ramsey
  • Alexander B. Belousov
Short Scientific Communication


An explosive eruption occurred at the summit of Bezymianny volcano (Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia) on 11 January 2005 which was initially detected from seismic observations by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT). This prompted the acquisition of 17 Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite images of the volcano over the following 10 months. Visible and infrared data from ASTER revealed significant changes to the morphology of the summit lava dome, later seen with field based thermal infrared (TIR) camera surveys in August 2005. The morphology of the summit lava dome was observed to have changed from previous year’s observations and historical accounts. In August 2005 the dome contained a new crater and two small lava lobes. Stepped scarps within the new summit crater suggest a partial collapse mechanism of formation, rather than a purely explosive origin. Hot pyroclastic deposits were also observed to have pooled in the moat between the current lava dome and the 1956 crater wall. The visual and thermal data revealed a complex eruption sequence of explosion(s), viscous lava extrusion, and finally the formation of the collapse crater. Based on this sequence, the conduit could have become blocked/pressurized, which could signify the start of a new behavioural phase for the volcano and lead to the potential of larger eruptions in the future.


Bezymianny Kamchatka Remote sensing ASTER FLIR 



This work was funded by NASA grant NNG04GO69G, as well a University of Pittsburgh International Studies Fund (ISF) grant (Ramsey and Carter 2004), and a Geological Society of America (GSA) grant (Carter 2004). Logistical and field assistance was kindly provided by E. Gordeev, O. Girina, and O. Evdokimova at the Institute of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia. The authors would especially like to thank R. Wessels, J. Dehn, M. Belousova, J. Eichelberger, P. Izbekov, M. West, A. Auer, and S. Wacaster for field assistance and logistics. This manuscript was greatly improved by the thorough reviews of J. Dehn and M. James. AJC would personally like to thank N. and L. Lindenfelser for edits and advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam J. Carter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael S. Ramsey
    • 1
  • Alexander B. Belousov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Planetary ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Geology and GeophysicsYuzhno-SakhalinskRussia

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