Chikurachki Volcano - John Seach


Paramushir Island, Kurile Islands, Russia

50.32 N, 155.45 E
summit elevation 1816 m

Chikurachki Volcano is located in the southern part of Paramushir Island in the northern Kurile island arc just south of Kamchatka Peninsula. It is the highest volcano on Paranushir Island.

Volcanic activity at Chikurachki is the result of westward subduction of the Pacific plate under the Eurasian plate. The cone has steep uneroded slope and a shallow summit crater of approximately 450 m in diameter.

Eruptions at Chikurachki Volcano
Two dominant types of eruptions have been identified at the volcano. Strombolian eruptions occurred in 1958, 1961, 1964, 1973, 2002, 2003, and plinian eruptions in 1853 and 1986. Strombolian eruptions usually last from days to weeks. Height of ejected material is usually than 500 m above the crater, although occasionally reach 3 km high.

Plinian basaltic eruptions are common at Chikurachki volcano. Frequency of these eruptions is estimated as once every 100–200 years. These eruptions pose a serious hazard for aviation traffic, which is very heavy in the area.

2015 Eruption
Eruption of Chikurachki volcano occurred on 17th February 2015. Ash reached 12,000 ft altitude.

2008 Eruptions
On 29th July 2008, an ash plume to 20,000 ft altitude was visible at Chikurachki volcano in Kurile Islands, Russia. The ash plume drifted 30 km WSW.

2007 Eruptions
Ash emissions to 10,000 ft elevation occurred at the volcano in August 2007.
Plumes extended up to 300 km NE of the volcano on 28-30 August.

2005 Eruption
On 1st March 2005, observers in Severo-Kurilsk (70 km NE of Chikurachki) saw an ash plume rise 400 m above the volcano. On 23rd March, satellite imagery showed a ash drifting 70 km E of the volcano.

2003 Eruption
On 16th April ash emissions from Chikurachki were detected on satellite images. Eruptions continued until 16th June 2003 and consisted of Strombolian eruptions producing ash clouds to 13,000 ft altitude.

2002 Eruptions
Eruptions began at Chikurachki on 25th January 2002. A small new crater formed on the SSE part of the summit crater. Eruptions continued until 16th March 2002, when ash fell in Podgorny settlement, 20 km SE of the volcano. According to a report from the town of Severo-Kurilsk, on 7th February, a hunter observed a permanent ash column to a height of 2500m (8200 feet) ASL accompanied by thunder.

1986 Eruptions
On 18th November 1986 a new eruption occurred at Chikurachki volcano. The eruption started with small explosions ejecting dark pyroclastics. Three hours later, ejections of incandescent pyroclastics started. The eruption reached a peak on 20th November accompanied by strong felt earthquakes, and volcanic lightning. Three incandescent agglomerate flows extended down the eastern flank. After midnight on 21st November explosions began to decrease. A lava flow began on the southeastern flank of the volcano. In five days the lava flow advanced for 3 km, and its thickness at the front was 35-40 m. On 25th November the eruption ceased in the crater. Gas emissions, and phreatic explosions at the lava flow continued until 7th December 1986.

1853 Eruption
The eruption of Chikurachki in 1853 was one of the strongest recorded at the volcano. The ash deposits contained a minimum volume 0.07 cubic km, and covered an elliptical area with the axis towards NE. Maximum thickness of the deposit was 4.2 m. Calculated maximum height of eruption column was 14 km.

Chikurachki Volcano Eruptions

2015, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1986, 1973, 1964, 1961, 1958, 1853-59