Project Details


Located at the junction of Kamchatka and the Aleutian Arc, the Klyuchevskoy Volcanic Group is arguably the most active island arc volcanic center in the world. Frequent and violent eruptions of its member volcanoes present both an immediate hazard to trans-Pacific air traffic and may have long-term climate implications. Ash from erupting Klyuchevskoy Group volcanoes has been tracked for thousands of miles away from Kamchatka and presents a serious threat to jet engines at high altitudes. Input of large volumes of volcanic ash into the atmosphere has been shown to impact global climate, causing multiple years of depressed temperatures following large eruptions. Yet, despite representing one of the largest volcanic features on the planet, the geodynamic mechanism to drive activity of the Klyuchevskoy Group is poorly understood. When the activity, size and position of the Klyuchevskoy Group is considered in the framework of regional tectonics it becomes apparent that this volcanic cluster simply can not exist in its present form. The position of the Klyuchevskoy relative to the subducting Pacific greatly exceeds typical depths of melt generation for arc volcanoes, and it is not clear where the lavas erupting at the Klyuchevskoy Groups are generated. This projects aims to put new seismological and geochemical constraints on the upper mantle structure beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group and shed light on the mechanism driving volcanic activity at this volcanic center. It is motivated by our previous research effort which identified anomalous feature in the upper mantle beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group which we believe holds the key to understanding the mechanism driving activity of this volcanic center.We propose a detailed investigation of the anomaly we have identified within the mantle wedge beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group, coupled with an effort to relate geochemical tracers present in Klyuchevskoy Group lavas to the proposed seismic feature. The seismic study will utilize new data acquired in the framework of the ongoing NSF Partnership in Researh and Education (PIRE) effort in Kamchatka. We will use different types of teleseismic receiver function analysis to investigate the mantle wedge beneath the Klyuchevskoy Group. In parallel we will assemble a comprehensive database of geochemical information on KG lavas, using databases, published literature and emerging results from ongoing work. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a geodynamic scenario for the Klyuchevskoy Group, informed by the seismic structure of the mantle wedge beneath it, and the geochemistry of lavas it produces.This project is supported by the Geophysics and Petrology & Geochemistry Programs.
Effective start/end date9/1/108/31/12


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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