The Largest Active Volcano in Eurasia

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The Kamchatka Peninsula located in the Russian Far East is home to a large group of volcanoes. The area was deemed a World Heritage Site in 1996 due to it being “one of the most outstanding examples of the volcanic regions in the world.”

Featured among the volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (also known as Klyuchevskoi or Klyuchevskoy )  which reaches an altitude of 4,750 m (15,584 ft), making the stratovolcano the highest active volcano in Eurasia.

On October 23, 2020, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured evidence of recent volcanic activity on Klyuchevskaya Sopka.

Some of the active volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.  ISS photo ISS064-E-319.
Some of the active volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. ISS photo ISS064-E-319.

Against the snow-covered backdrop, the ash-darkened peaks of Klyuchevskoy and Bezymianny are visible.

Located  along the Pacific Ring of Fire, this area in Far Eastern Russia has more than 300 volcanoes, 29 of which are active. Russian explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov marveled at the region in 1755 stating, “Perhaps there is no other region in the world where so many volcanoes and hot springs are to be found in so small a space as here on Kamchatka.”

On November 16, 2013, the ISS captured an eruption plume pouring from Klyuchevskoy. Eruption plumes emit steam, volcanic gases, and ash which can be seen streaming from the volcano. Bezymianny Volcano also appears to be emitting a small steam plume. Volcanoes Ushkovsky, Tolbachik, Zimina, and Udina can also be seen in this photo.

An eruption plume coming from Klyuchevskoy.  Astronaut photograph ISS038-E-5515, November 16, 2013.
An eruption plume coming from Klyuchevskaya. Astronaut photograph ISS038-E-5515, November 16, 2013.

In 1994, the ISS captured an enormous plume flowing from Klyuchevskaya.

Eruption plumed from Klyuchevskoya volcano.  STS068-218-007 (30 September-11 October 1994).
Eruption plumed from Klyuchevskaya volcano. STS068-218-007 (30 September-11 October 1994)

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