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Report on field training mission to Kamchatka

17 June - 7 July 2008


In analysing the world context for glacier hazards, teams identified that one important factor for catastrophic events is not sufficiently manifested in the Caucasus: that of glacio-volcanic interactions. Volcanic heat might have been a factor in originating the Kolka glacier disaster, but no active volcanoes are present in the region. Given the importance of this factor in glacier disasters, additional field training was held in the Kamchatka peninsula. The training took part around the Kluchevskaya group of active volcanoes, as well as Shiveluch and Avachinskiy volcanoes. One of these, the Bezymyanny Volcano, has produced a gigantic lahar (volcanic debris flow) in 1956, with volume of 500 million m3, the largest debris flow ever recorded in Russia. The team learned about glacial-volcanic interactions that lead to lahars in Kamchatka, and about specific glacio-geomorphological features of the region and their influence on debris flow formation. Training was carried out with help of local volcanologists and debris flow scientists of the Kamchatka Division of the Far East Branch of RAS. Success of this training enables the teams to complete the review of some of the major types of catastrophic glacier hazards, which has direct relevance to project goals, and to the worlds disaster reduction needs in the context of climate change.


Trees burned by a pyroclastic flow at Shiveluch volcano.


Observing a debris flow along the Baidarnaya River, Shiveluch.


Team in front of helicopter chartered for surveys of the Kluchevskaya group of volcanoes.


Smouldering Bezymyanny volcano as seen during overflight on 2 July 2008.


Six project participants have attended the Kamchatka field training:

  • Dr. Sergey Chernomorets (PPD)

  • Dr. Olga Tutubalina

  • Dr. Irina Seynova

  • Mr. Igor Sokolov

  • Mr. Aleksandr Barinov

  • Ms. Natalya Chalaya


  • Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy)

  • Kamchatka Branch of Meteorological Agency, Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy)

  • Volcanological Station of Kamchatka (Kluchi)

  • Hydrometeorological Station (Kluchi)



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