Kamchatka’s Shiveluch volcanic eruption threatens air traffic

September 2, 2011KAMCHATKA – Far East Russia’s Shiveluch volcano spewed ash high into the atmosphere over the Kamchatka Peninsula, as well as into key international air traffic routes across the North Pacific. One column of ash on Monday reached an altitude of more than five miles, posing a threat to aircraft. Russia’s National Geophysical Service said that ash discharges from Shiveluch increased in intensity and volume over the weekend, and were punctuated by Monday’s blast. The closest human settlement to the volcano’s crater is about 30 miles away. Shiveluch was relatively dormant for a few decades before it started to show signs of renewed unrest in 2006. Its last major eruption was in 1964. It is one of a string of volcanoes situated along the Kamchatka Peninsula, one of the world’s most active seismic zone. The latest blast occurred as an international workshop on seismic hazards was underway in the Kamchatka city of Petropavlovsk.-Earth Week
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kamchatka’s Shiveluch volcanic eruption threatens air traffic

  1. Michele B says:

    Don’t these pilots know how to fly by instruments alone?

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    • The ash clouds are the danger. It clogs ceramic parts of engines. Temperatures inside an jet engine reach up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and ceramic thermal-barrier coatings insulate metallic engine parts from that heat. The ingested ash melts onto the coating and penetrates the coating. Upon cooling, the molten ash forms a brittle glass that flakes off, taking the coating with it. There have been horrific stories of airplane engines stopping while flying through volcanic ash clouds while the pilots raced to restart the engines in a crash descent before the plane hit the ground.

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      • Michele B says:

        Thanks for the explanation! That makes complete sense. It also makes me wonder how air traffic would be affected WORLDWIDE with the eruption of a supervolcano. Might be the least of our worries, but still is something I hadn’t considered before.

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