Holocene Kamchatka volcanoes
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
Kamchatka, Russia
Global Volcanism Program number

5233' N, 15802' E, summit elevation 2276 m








Gorely volcano is located in a large late Pleistocene caldera (Figs. 1 and 2). Its edifice is composed of several small coalesced cones and resembles a shield volcano (Fig. 3). Gorely lavas overlie a subglacial tuya pedestal dating back to the late Pleistocene time, when the caldera was filled with ice. Steep, 80-100-m-high slopes of the tuya are still seen in the northern part of the volcanic edifice (Fig. 2).

Western cones of the volcano were constructed in the main by the early Holocene time; the isolated easternmost cone (Fig. 1) was built around 6.5 ka BP (14C). Later lava flows were produced from flank vents and fissures located all around the old caldera and even beyond the latter (Fig. 2). Tephrochronological studies have permitted identification of three periods of effusive activity, which occurred ~5.5, 3 and 0.2-0.3 ka BP (Selyangin and Ponomareva, 1999). Paleomagnetic studies (unpublished data by Russell F.Burmester, 1990) showed that within each of these periods lava flows were erupted simultaneously in different parts of the caldera. The fissure, which produced the most recent lava flows, crossed the volcanic ridge from east to west, and also crossed the old caldera rim in its southwestern part and produced a number of small vents and a 20-km-long lava flow beyond the caldera (Fig. 2, a black "snake" in a lower left corner). Central part of the Gorely's edifice hosts a number of nested craters (Figs. 4-6). The most recent explosive activity (in 1986) was associated with one of those, now filled with a steaming acid lake (Fig. 6). During the 1981 eruption ash plume from Gorely was well seen from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Fig. 7).

Gorely erupted products are dominated by medium-high-K basaltic andesites.


Kirsanov IT, and Melekestsev IV (1991) Gorely volcano. In: Fedotov SA and Masurenkov Yu.P (Eds) Active volcanoes of Kamchatka. Moscow. Nauka Publishers, V.2, p. 294-317 (In Russian and English)

Melekestsev IV, Braitseva OA,  and Ponomareva VV (1990) Holocene activity dynamics of Mutnovskii and Gorelyi volcanoes and the volcanic risk for adjacent areas (as indicated by tephrochronology studies).  Volcanol Seismol 9/3: 337‑362

Selyangin OB and Ponomareva VV (1999) Gorelovsky volcanic center, South Kamchatka: Structure and evolution. Volcanol Seismol 21/2: 163-194