Rebirth of a Volcano: Photogrammetric Data Shows Volcanoes Have “Memory”

Bezymianny is an active stratovolcano on the Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia.
Credit: GFZ

For the first time, long-term photogrammetic series document the “life cycle” of a volcano. The analyses shows that volcanoes have a kind of memory.

Volcanoes are born and die — and then grow again on their own remains. The decay of a volcano in particular is often accompanied by catastrophic consequences, as was the most recent case for Anak Krakatau in 2018. The flank of the volcano had collapsed sliding into the sea. The resulting tsunami killed several hundred people on Indonesia’s coast.

Continued volcanic activity after a collapse has not been documented in detail so far. Now and for the first time, researchers from the German Research Center for Geosciences GFZ and Russian volcanologists are presenting the results of a photogrammetric data series spanning seven decades for the Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka, in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment. First author Alina Shevchenko from GFZ says, “thanks to the German-Russian cooperation we were able to analyze and reinterpret a unique data set.”

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