The inactive Raikoke volcano in the sea of Okhotsk

Raikoke is an uninhabited Russian volcanic island. It is located at the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk and about 16 kilometers far from Matua. Its name comes from the Ainu language, which means hellmouth. It stretches from Japan to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes Raikoke, is a region where tectonic plates in the Pacific Ocean shift often. As a result, it is also the epicenter of the majority of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The first eruption of Raikoke Volcano, in 1778, was disastrous, destroying the upper third of the island.

Geology of Raikoke volcano

Raikoke is essentially circular, measuring 2.5 kilometers in length and 2.0 kilometers in breadth, with a total area of 4.6 kilometers. Raikoke is an uninhabited Russian volcanic island. It is considered to be located at the center of the Kuril Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk. It is also the epicenter of the majority of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The island is a stratovolcano, and the lava is mostly basalt. The cone rises to a maximum height of 551 m (1,808 ft) above sea level, rising above a submerged terrace at a depth of 130 m (430 ft). With lava flows running throughout the eastern half of the island, the steep-walled crater is 700 m (2,300 ft) wide and 200 m (660 ft) deep. Most recently, the volcano erupted in 1765, 1778, 1924, and 2019. On the Volcanic Explosivity Index scale (which extends from zero to eight), the 1778 and 1924 Raikoke eruptions were rated as VEI-4 or higher.

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In 2018, the volcano Anak Krakatoa erupted, which was similarly classified as a VEI-4 event. The first eruption of Raikoke Volcano, in 1778, was disastrous, destroying the upper third of the island. The only known eruption fatalities occurred in 1778, when fifteen people were killed by falling lava bombs.

Raikoke is one of the Kuril Islands’ five biggest Steller sea lion rookeries, and it is also home to one of the greatest northern fulmar aggregations in the spring and summer; crested and parakeet auklet, pigeon guillemot, and black-legged kittiwake also nest on the island. However, by the 1890s, only a few scores of animals had been taken there, probably definitely due to fur hunters’ overexploitation. Raikoke currently has no fur seals reproducing.

The inactive Raikoke volcano in the sea of Okhotsk

History of Raikoke volcano

At the period of European contact, the Ainu came to Raikoke for hunting and fishing, but there was no permanent settlement. The island is depicted on an official map of Matsumae Domain, a feudal domain in Edo Japan, dated 1644, and these holdings were reaffirmed by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1715. It was afterwards claimed by the Russian Empire; sovereignty was transferred to Russia under the conditions of the Treaty of Shimoda, but was later returned to Japan at the Treaty of Saint Petersburg. Raikoke is an uninhabited Russian volcanic island. It is located at the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk. It is also the epicenter of the majority of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Previously, the island was managed by the Shimushu District of Hokkaido’s Nemuro Subprefecture. It was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II and is now managed as part of Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast. The first eruption of Raikoke Volcano, in 1778, was disastrous, destroying the upper third of the island.

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In 2019, an eruption happened

The 2019 eruption of Raikoke produces a cloud of ash and volcanic gases. It erupted at 4:03 a.m. on June 22, 2019, with a plume of ash and gas reaching between 13,000 m (43,000 ft) and 17,000 m (56,000 ft), passing the tropopause and allowing ash and sulfur dioxide to be injected into the stratosphere. To this point, the eruption was far enough away to have inflicted no discernible harm on a large scale. The ash plume from the Raikoke Volcano has traveled north over the Bering Sea, according to the European Space Agency. It is also the epicenter of the majority of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The first eruption of Raikoke Volcano, in 1778, was disastrous, destroying the upper third of the island. Two years later, in 1780, the explosion triggered the first volcanological inquiry on the mostly forgotten Kuril Islands.

 

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