Some of the world’s most active volcanoes make up the spine of the Kamchatka Peninsula in far east Russia. Kamchatka is the northwestern edge of the Pacific “ring of fire,” where earthquakes and volcanism are caused by ongoing subduction of the Pacific oceanic plate beneath the Eurasian plate.
This astronaut photograph profiles the summit area of Ksudach Volcano, also called Voniuchi Khrebet Volcano, in southern Kamchatka. White snow on the ridges in this image contrasts with the dark volcanic soils and highlights the well-developed radial drainage pattern down the slopes of the volcano. The summit area comprises overlapping calderas. Stübel Crater, located in the northern portion of the caldera complex, was the locus of the most recent eruption of the volcano, in 1907. The 1907 eruption of Ksudach Volcano is one of the largest ever recorded in Kamchatka.
Two lakes, Klyuchevoye and Shtyubela, are located within calderas at the summit of Ksudach. These lakes, along with hot springs and the surrounding wilderness, make the Ksudach Volcano region a popular trekking destination. In the event of renewed volcanic activity, its remote location minimizes its potential hazard to humans.
- Braitseva, O.A., Melekestsev, I.V., Ponomareva, V.V., and Kirianov, V.Yu., 1996. The caldera-forming eruption of Ksudach volcano about cal. A.D. 240: the greatest explosive event of our era in Kamchatka, Russia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 70:49-65.
Astronaut photograph ISS009-E-16836 was acquired July 26, 2004, with a Kodak K760C digital camera with an 800-mm lens, and is provided by the Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
- ISS - Digital Camera