Klyuchevskaya Sopka

Klyuchevskaya Sopka (Russian: Ключевская сопка; also known as Klyuchevskoi, Russian: Ключевской) is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain of Siberia and the highest active volcano of Eurasia. Its steep, symmetrical cone towers about 100 kilometres (60 mi) from the Bering Sea. The volcano is part of the natural Volcanoes of Kamchatka UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Ključevskaja za východu slunce.jpg
Klyuchevskaya Sopka in January 2007
Highest point
Elevation4,754 m (15,597 ft)
Prominence4,649 m (15,253 ft)
Ranked 13th
Isolation2,748 km (1,708 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates56°03′22″N 160°38′39″E / 56.056044°N 160.644089°E / 56.056044; 160.644089Coordinates: 56°03′22″N 160°38′39″E / 56.056044°N 160.644089°E / 56.056044; 160.644089
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is located in Kamchatka Krai
Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Location in Kamchatka Krai, Russia
LocationKamchatka, Russia
Parent rangeEastern Range
Mountain typeStratovolcano (active)
Last eruption2021
First ascent1788 by Daniel Gauss and 2 others
Easiest routebasic rock/snow climb

Klyuchevskaya appeared 6,000 years ago.[1] Its first recorded eruption occurred in 1697,[1] and it has been almost continuously active ever since, as have many of its neighboring volcanoes. It was first climbed in 1788 by Daniel Gauss and two other members of the Billings Expedition.[2] No other ascents were recorded until 1931, when several climbers were killed by flying lava on the descent. As similar dangers still exist today, few ascents are made.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka is considered sacred by some indigenous peoples, being viewed by them as the location at which the world was created. Other volcanoes in the region are seen with similar spiritual significance, but Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the most sacred of these.


2007 eruptionEdit

Beginning in early January 2007, the Klyuchevskaya volcano began another eruption cycle. Students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and scientists of the Alaska Volcano Observatory traveled to Kamchatka in the spring to monitor the eruption. On 28 June 2007, the volcano began to experience the largest explosions so far recorded in this eruption cycle. An ash plume from the eruption reached a height of 10 km (33,000 ft) before drifting eastward, disrupting air traffic from the United States to Asia and causing ashfalls on Alaska's Unimak Island.

2010 eruptionEdit

As early as 27 February 2010, gas plumes had erupted from Klyuchevskaya Sopka (reaching elevations of 7,000 m (22,966 ft)) and during the first week of March 2010, both explosive ash eruptions and effusive lava eruptions occurred until, by 9 March, the ash cloud was reported to have reached an elevation of 6,000 m (19,685 ft). Also, significant thermal anomalies have been reported and gas-steam plumes extended roughly 50 km (31 mi) to the north-east from the volcano on 3 March.

2012 eruptionsEdit

On 15 October 2012, the volcano had a weak eruption that stopped the following day. Also a weak thermal eruption occurred on 29 November 2012, then stopped again, as all of its neighboring volcanoes Bezymianny, Karymsky, Kizimen, Shiveluch, and Tolbachik erupted more actively and continuously, taking a major magma supply load off of Klyuchevskaya Sopka.

2013 eruptionsEdit

On 25 January 2013, the volcano had a weak strombolian eruption that stopped the following day. During January 2013, all volcanoes in the eastern part of Kamchatka —Bezymianny, Karymsky, Kizimen, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Shiveluch, and Tolbachik erupted except Kamen (volcano).

False color image of the October 17, 2013, eruption.

On August 15, 2013, the volcano had another weak Strombolian eruption with some slight lava flow that put on an excellent fireworks display before stopping on August 21, 2013, when Gorely Volcano woke up and started erupting again in relief of Klyuchevskaya Sopka.[citation needed]

On October 12, Klyuchevskaya had another three days of on-and-off eruptions with anomalies and a short ash plume, possibly indicating Strombolian and weak Vulcanian activity. An explosion from a new cinder cone low on Kliuchevskoi's southwest flank occurred on October 12. An ash plume rose to altitudes of 6–7 km (20,000–23,000 ft), and drifted eastward. The eruptions weakened and paused by October 16, 2013.[3]

On November 19, a strong explosion occurred, and observers reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 10–12 km (33,000–39,000 ft) and drifted southeast. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. Later that day, the altitudes of the ash plumes were lower and the eruptions weakened and stopped again.[citation needed]

On December 7, activity at Kliuchevskoi significantly increased, having continued during November 29 – December 7, prompting KVERT to raise the Alert Level to Red. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5–6 km (18,000–20,000 ft) above sea level and drifted more than 212 km (132 mi) northeast and over 1,000 km (621 mi) east. According to a news article, a warning to aircraft was issued for the area around the volcanoes. Video showed gas-and-steam activity, and satellite images detected a daily weak thermal anomaly. On December 9, the Alert Level was lowered to Green when the eruptions abruptly stopped.

2015 eruptionsEdit

On January 2, 2015, after a one-year period of inactivity, the volcano had a strombolian eruption which stopped on January 16, 2015. Minor eruptions resumed on March 10, 2015 and stopped on March 24, 2015. On August 27, 2015, the volcano had another strombolian eruption which ended 16 hours later. On October 25, 2019, the volcano had another weak strombolian eruption which ended some 30 hours later. This type of minor eruptions continued through 2016 and into 2019.[citation needed]

2019-2020 eruptionsEdit

Kluchevskaya Sopka saw renewed eruption activity beginning in 2019 and continuing into 2020.[4]

A recent volcanic eruption occurred on December 9, 2020.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Klyuchevskoy: Eruptive History". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  2. ^ Dobkin, Josef (1989), "The Living Giants of Kamchatka", The American Alpine Journal, The American Alpine Club: 104, ISBN 0-930410-39-4
  3. ^ "Global Volcanism Program | Report on Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — 16–22 October 2013". volcano.si.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  4. ^ "Global Volcanism Program | Klyuchevskoy". Smithsonian Institution | Global Volcanism Program. Retrieved 2022-05-18.

External linksEdit