Russia: A volcano that collapsed in 1959 in the Far East is growing again and will reach its old size within the next 15 years.
Bezymianny is a conical volcano. Photo: GFZ.
The Bezymianny volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula was photographed by Soviet scientists in the 1950s after a collapse on the eastern slopes. Recent satellite data allowed the team from Russia, Germany and Italy to re-analyze the area to see how it has changed over the past seven decades. According to the discovery published on September 10 in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, Bezymianny has grown back through several nozzles located hundreds of meters apart.
First observed volcano ‘regeneration’ Simulate the rebirth process of volcano Bezymianny. Video: GFZ.
Volcanoes often collapse over time due to the effects of natural disasters. After they collapse, mountains can regenerate and regrow in place. Continued volcanic activity after the moment of collapse could lead to the emergence of a new structure, according to the team. However, details about the regeneration process have never been recorded before. Bezymianny volcanic observational data for seven decades show its evolution following the 1956 collapse.
The team found that the initial regeneration process originates from two lava arches coming from two separate vents. Two decades later, these geysers began to come together from a distance of 198 meters. After 50 years, researchers discovered volcanic activity concentrated inside a geyser. This geyser is conical and has a crat at the top.
The team estimates the volcano will return to its original size within the next 15 years. Currently, the volcano’s volume increases by about 26,400 m3 per day, equivalent to about 1,000 large trucks pouring soil continuously for 24 hours. Understanding how volcanoes regrow after collapse is important in predicting when the next collapse will occur.