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Catastrophic eruptions in Kamchatka during early Holocene: volumes of volatiles

Balashova A.L.*, Plechov P.Y.*, Dirksen O.V.**

  * - Faculty of Geology , Moscow State University Moscow

** -  Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Far Eastern Bransh RAS, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky



The main goal of this study was estimation of volatile components volume injected into the atmosphere during three caldera-forming eruptions on the Kamchatka Peninsula during Holocene: Karymsky caldera-forming eruption (7900 14C), Kurile Lake caldera-forming eruption (7600 14C) and eruption KS2 (6000 14C), which created caldera KS IV on the Ksudach volcanic Massif [Ponomareva, 2010]

It is necessarily to define difference between the volatile content in magma before the eruption and the volatile content in volcanic products for estimation of volatile components volume injected into the atmosphere.  The volatile content in magma was estimated by direct measurements of H2O, S, Cl and F (for Kurile Lake) contents in natural quenched glassy melt inclusions trapped by plagioclase phenocrysts. The volatile content in rocks after the eruption was estimated by analyses of matrix glasses in tephra.

 Fig. 1 Summary SO2 atmosphere impact after studied eruptions

Amount of SO2 injected into the atmosphere during eruption is the main climatic effect of  the eruption. 89 Mt of SO2 were injected into the atmosphere during Karymsky caldera-forming eruption, 55 Mt during Kurile Lake eruption [Plechov et al., 2010] and 3 Mt during KS2 eruption. Total amount injected to the atmosphere of SO2 is 146 Mt (Fig.1). These results are ranking studied eruptions among the Earths largest historical eruptions like Tambora eruption in 1815, Huaynaputina (Peru) in 1600 etc. (Table 1). It affords to estimate climatic impact of studied eruptions


DRE, 3

SO2, Mt

Karymsky caldera, 7900 14C

6 [Braitseva & Melekestsev, 1990]


Kurile Lake, 7600 14C

75 [Ponomareva et al., 2004]


Caldera KS IV, 6000 14C

3.8 [Ponomareva, 2010]


Pinatubo, 1991 [Graf et al., 1993]



Tambora, 1815 [Oppenheimer, 2003]



Huaynaputina, 1600 [Costa t al., 2003]



, 1452 [Witter & Self, 2007]




Table 1. Correlation between eruptions volume and SO2 impact of studied eruptions and largest historical eruptions.


Research was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (08-05-00193) and Presidents Program Leading Scientific Schools of Russia (5338.2006.5).



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