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The mid-Pleistocene Porak volcano lies in the Vardenis volcanic highland about 20 km SE of Lake Sevan. The volcanic field straddles the Armenia/Azerbaijan border, and lava flows extend into both countries. The flanks are dotted with 10 satellitic cones and fissure vents. It was constructed along the active Pambak-Sevan strike-slip fault, which has bisected the mid-Pleistocene Khonarassar volcano, separating its two halves by about 800 m. Two large lava flows traveled up to 21 km north and NW, and fresh-looking lava flows form peninsulas extending into Lake Alagyol. Fifth century BCE petroglyphs were interpreted to depict volcanic eruptions (Karakhanian et al., 2002). Porak is referred to in a famous cuneiform inscription as Mount Bamni, and stratigraphic and archeological evidence indicates that an explosive eruption also producing a lava flow occurred at the time of a military battle dated to 782-773 BCE.
Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).
|Start Date||Stop Date||Eruption Certainty||VEI||Evidence||Activity Area or Unit|
|[ 0740 BCE ± 2 years ]||[ Unknown ]||Uncertain|
|0778 BCE ± 5 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Anthropology||SW flank|
|4510 BCE ± 300 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Tephrochronology|
This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.
|Feature Name||Feature Type||Elevation||Latitude||Longitude|
|Cone||40° 7' 30" N||45° 39' 30" E|
|A blocky lava flow extends across the foreground from a pyroclastic cone of the Porak volcanic field, located along the Vardeniss volcanic ridge about 20 km SE of Lake Sevan. The volcanic field straddles the Armenia/Azerbaijan border, and lava flows extend into both countries. This lava flow is the youngest of the volcanic field. Another flow from the same cone (located in Armenia) flowed into Lake Alagyol in Azerbaijan. Archaeological and historical evidence indicates several eruptions occurred during the Holocene.
Photo by Jim Luhr, 2004 (Smithsonian Institution).
The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.
Haroutiunian R A, 2006. The historical volcanoes of Armenia and adjacent areas revisited. J Volc Geotherm Res, 155: 334-337.
Karakhanian A, Djrbashian R, Trifonov V, Philip H, Arakelian S, Avagian A, 2002. Holocene-historical volcanism and active faults as natural risk factors for Armenia and adjacent countries. J Volc Geotherm Res, 113: 319-344.
Karakhanian A, Jrbashyan R, Trifonov V, Philip H, Arakelian S, Avagyan A, Baghdassaryan H, Davtian V, 2006. Historical volcanoes of Armenia and adjacent areas: what is revisited?. J Volc Geotherm Res, 155: 338-345.
Karakhanian A, Jrbashyan R, Trifonov V, Philip H, Arakelian S, Avagyan A, Baghdassaryan H, Davtian V, Ghoukassyan Y, 2003. Volcanic hazards in the region of the Armenian nuclear power plant. J Volc Geotherm Res, 126: 31-62.