Streams of molten rock are gushing from a newly erupting volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East.
The Tolbachik Volcano sprung to life last week, issuing lava flows and blasting ash and steam high into the air.
New lava erupted by the volcano covered parts of a landscape shaped by a dramatic 1975-1976 eruption.
The new flows engulfed a series of buildings in two scientific research camps, the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program website said.
Lava fountaining from a rift on the flanks of Tolbachik, a volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, on Nov. 29, 2012. Tolbachik last erupted in 1975-76. (AP Photo/Yuri Demyanchuk)
The flanks of Tolbachik split on Nov. 27, giving rise to a line of spectacular lava fountains. From these fountains arose streams of yellow-hot rock that cooled enough to form a moving wall of partially molten lava.
Images posted on the website of a Russia volcano observatory showed the fountaining lava, the fast-flowing lava streams and the steep wall of bulldozing lava.
Some of the images showed the thick, slow-moving flows covering young forest in a snow-covered landscape.
The flows reached at least 10 km from the vents that were the site of eruption, according to the Smithsonian website.
The style of the Tolbachik eruption, known as a fissure eruption, resembled those of Iceland, East Africa, Sicily's Mount Etna, even Hawaii, rather than the more dramatic, dangerous blasts epitomized by Mount Saint Helens and Mount Pinatubo in the 20th century.
Fissure eruptions typically yield basalt, a dark, heavy lava, rather than the lighter lava and ash characterizing volcanoes given to massive explosive eruptions.
The 1975-76 eruption of Tolbachik also began as a fissure eruption, giving rise to the largest historical eruption of basalt anywhere in Kamchatka.
Sparsely settled Kamchatka is home to one of the most active volcanic belts in the world, with well over 100 potentially active volcanoes.
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