"The enormous waves, along with the sharp change in chemical composition and water temperature, led to the death of practically all life in the lake," researchers concluded in a 1998 account of the eruption published in the Proceedings of the International Symposium on Water Rock Interaction.
Despite the ecological catastrophe, Karymsky Lake is working its way back to normal.
The pH has returned to 7.54, measured during a 2012 research expedition by Taran and his colleagues. The water is clear. Still, the lake is about three times saltier than before the eruption. The new hot springs pump more minerals into the lake, keeping its salinity higher.
"Now it looks just the same, but it's not back to its original state," Taran said.
Taran and his colleagues will continue analyzing the chemistry of Karymsky Lake and the new hot springs, he said.
"Karymsky, it's an unusual volcano. It has a very unusual hydrothermal chemistry that nobody has tried to understand," he said.
Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanet, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.