Kurile Lake, Russia
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Kurile Lake, Russia
The compound stratovolcanoes of Kambalny (left) and Koshelev (right), rise beyond the SW shore of scenic Kurile Lake caldera at the southern tip of Kamchatka.
Kurile Lake caldera formed in two stages, the first about 41,500 radiocarbon years ago and the second about 8000 years ago during one of Kamchatka's largest Holocene eruptions.
The small island (right center) is Serdtse Alaida ("Heart of Alaid"), a rhyolitic lava dome.
The conical peak on the distant horizon at right center is Alaid stratovolcano, the northernmost of the Kuril Islands.
Kurile Lake caldera is one of the most impressive volcanic features in Kamchatka.
It lies within the eastern part of the massive Pauzhetka caldera, but is considered as a separate volcanic system here.
The low-rimmed Kurile Lake caldera was formed in two stages during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene.
The first caldera-forming eruption took place about 41,500 radiocarbon years ago.
The second episode of caldera formation occurred about 7600 radiocarbon years ago during one of the world's largest Holocene eruptions.
A total of 140-170 cu km of material was ejected, and extensive thick pyroclastic-flow deposits from the caldera-forming eruptions blanket the countryside.
Ash from the eruption, one of the world's largest during the Holocene, fell more than 1000 km away on the Asia mainland.
The eruption resulted in the formation of an 8 x 14 km wide caldera, now largely filled by Kurile Lake.
The steep-sided Serdtze Alaida ("Heart of Alaid"), which forms a small island rising 300 m from the caldera floor in the center of the lake, is a rhyodacitic lava dome that formed at the end of the caldera-forming eruption.
This renowned exposure of pyroclastic-flow deposits from Kurile Lake caldera has been named Kuthiny Baty ("vertical standing boat") because of its erosionally fluted texture.
The pyroclastic-flow deposit originated from the caldera-forming eruption of Kurile Lake about 8000 years ago, one of the largest Holocene eruptions in Kamchatka.
The deposit is about 100-m thick at this location on the Ozernaya River, 3 km west of Kurile Lake.
Erosion of unwelded pyroclastic-flow deposits from Kurile Lake caldera formed these prominently ribbed cliffs along the Ukanovich River, 10 km north of the caldera.
Voluminous pyroclastic flows accompanying formation of the caldera about 8000 years ago blanketed the countryside during one of the largest Holocene eruptions of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
PHOTO SOURCES: Nikolai Smelov, 1996 (courtesy of Vera Ponomareva, Inst. Volcanic Geology & Geochemistry, Petropavlovsk), Oleg Volynets (Institute of Volcanology, Petropavlovsk), courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.
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