In Brief

New Explosions Spotted at Snowy Russian Volcano

zhupanovksy volcano
On Nov. 5, a NASA satellite spotted ash above Kamchatka's Zhupanovksy volcano. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon)

A remote Russian volcano may be readying for a new eruption, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. On Nov. 5, NASA's Earth-Observing 1 satellite spotted ash above the 9,702-foot-tall (2,958 meters) Zhupanovksy volcano, which recently woke from a decades-long slumber. The snowy peaks also shows signs of phreatic explosions — the stupendous blasts that result from hot lava meeting snow, ice or water, the Earth Observatory reported.

Zhupanovksy's latest activity started on Oct. 23, when the volcano spewed ash 16,400 feet (5 kilometers) into the sky. It was the first explosive eruption at the volcano since 1959, according to KVERT, the Kamchatka Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which monitors volcanic and earthquake hazards in the Russian peninsula. The initial blast of ash and volcanic gases was followed by several days of phreatic bursts and strong gas emissions from fumaroles (gas vents) at the peak, KVERT reported.

Read more: Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program

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Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.