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Open-File Report 2008-1162

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Open-File Report 2008-1162

Active Volcanoes of the Kurile Islands:
A Reference Guide for Aviation Users


By Christina Neal, U.S. Geological Survey; Alexander Rybin and Marina Chibisova, Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Sakhalin, Russia; and Edward Miller, Airline Pilots Association, Herndon, Virginia

Introduction

The many volcanoes of the remote and mostly uninhabited Kurile Island arc (fig. 1; table 1) pose a serious hazard for air traffic in the North Pacific. Ash clouds from Kurile eruptions can impact some of the busiest air travel routes in the world and drift quickly into airspace managed by three countries: Russia, Japan, and the United States. Prevailing westerly winds throughout the region will most commonly send ash from any Kurile eruption directly across the parallel North Pacific airways between North America and Asia (Kristine A. Nelson, National Weather Service, oral commun., 2006; fig. 1). This report presents maps showing locations of the 36 most active Kurile volcanoes plotted on Operational Navigational Charts published by the Defense Mapping Agency (map sheets ONC F-10, F-11, and E-10; figs. 1, 2, 3, 4). These maps are intended to assist aviation and other users in the identification of restless Kurile volcanoes. A regional map is followed by three subsections of the Kurile volcanic arc (North, Central, South). Volcanoes and selected primary geographic features are labeled. All maps contain schematic versions of the principal air routes and selected air navigational fixes in this region.

Contents

Introduction
Monitoring of Kurile Volcanoes
How the Aviation Sector is Notified of Eruptions in the Kuriles
Pilot Reports of Volcanic Activity
Rates of Eruption in the Kuriles
Acknowledgments
References Cited

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 1.25 MB)

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Adobe Reader 8.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

Send questions or comments about this report to the author, Christina Neal, (907) 786-7454.

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