During our pilot expedition to the northern Kurile Islands, we observed the volcano during 16-20 and 26-27 July 2019: Ebeko's northern crater was very active, almost constantly degassing and producing ash-rich eruptions at irregular intervals of typically few hours.

About half of them consisted in small to moderate, but passive ash venting, while the others were explosions that generated ash plumes of typically 1-2 km height and drifting / slowly dissipating rather long distances (few tens of km) mostly towards the NW.

Due to the lack of significant rain lately, the extremely fine-grained brown-gray ash itself seems to cover much of the northern part of the island. Near the volcano (within approx. 2 km), it forms a deposit about 1 cm thick. Ebeko's stronger explosions were sometimes noisy and ejected abundant blocks, some of which were incandescent during the night.

In addition, most of the explosions, even smaller ones, produced rather large and abundant volcanic lightnings. The strongest explosions also generate small pyroclastic flows reaching several 100 m length from the base of the crater cone.

VAAC Tokyo reports only a fraction of the actually occurring events, mainly because most ash plumes remain hidden in the typically thick cloud or fog cover over the area.