12/20/2017 — Very large 50,000 foot high (15km) Volcanic Eruption in Northwest Pacific

December 20, 2017

A very large eruption has occurred at Bezymianny Volcano located in Kamchatka Russia in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

Volcanic ash advisories were issued reaching FL500 (Flight level 500) which equals approximately 50,000 feet, and is rare at any volcano for such a large blast to occur.

This is the largest (highest) blast on the planet in years that I know of.

See video of the blast here:

Webcam of the blast here:



Full technical details on the eruption from the Russia’s Kamchatka (RAS) and KVERT :


Bezymianny eruption 2017-12-20 03:55 UTC (local time December 20 15:55).

Height of ash plume ~ 15 km ASL extending to the N-E.

The webcam is located in seismic station, approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) East of Bezymianny volcano.

Please to make reference to Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Survey RAS (http://emsd.ru/) if used video.

(2) Issued: 20171220/0447Z
(3) Volcano: Bezymianny (CAVW #300250)
(4) Current aviation colour code: RED
(5) Previous aviation colour code: red
(6) Source: KVERT
(7) Notice Number: 2017-269
(8) Volcano Location: N 55 deg 58 min E 160 deg 35 min
(9) Area: Kamchatka, Russia
(10) Summit Elevation: 9452.96 ft (2882 m)
(11) Volcanic Activity Summary:
According to satellite data by KVERT, ash plume on the height about 15 km a.s.l. drift for about 85 km to the north-east from the volcano.

Strong ash explosions up to 49,200 ft (15 km) a.s.l. occur at this time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

(12) Volcanic cloud height:
49200 ft (15000 m) AMSL Time and method of ash plume/cloud height determination: 20171220/0420Z – Himawari-8

(13) Other volcanic cloud information:
Distance of ash plume/cloud of the volcano: 53 mi (85 km)
Direction of drift of ash plume/cloud of the volcano: NE / azimuth 53 deg

Time and method of ash plume/cloud determination: 20171220/0420Z – Himawari-8

Start time of explosion and how determined: 20171220/0341Z – Video data

(14) Remarks:

(15) Contacts:
Anton A. Nuzhdaev, IVS FEB RAS

Duty scientist: +79622825253