Report on Veniaminof (United States) — August 2006

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 31, no. 8 (August 2006)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Veniaminof (United States) Low seismicity with minor plumes through 15 September 2006; 13 June ash emission

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 31:8. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200608-312070.

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Veniaminof

United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent, very small-volume steam and ash bursts from the intra-caldera cone have been typical of this volcano intermittently over the past few years, and this pattern continued. The previous report mentions several minor bursts of ash, particularly on 13 June 2006 and 7 September, and minor white plumes through mid-September. This report discusses the interval 8 April through 15 September. Seismicity during this interval was nearly always low, although it often rose above background.

Clouds obstructed visibility during 7-14 April. For the duration of April and June, activity remained low with few steam plumes containing minor amounts of ash. On 30 May a weak daytime thermal anomaly was recorded, possibly due to solar heating inside the dark intra-caldera cone. Intermittent clear weather on the week ending 9 June indicated weak steam plumes.

On 13 June an ash emission rose to a height estimated at ~ 600 m above the summit area, as reported by a passing aircraft. Transient plumes were seen on satellite imagery during the week ending 21 July.

During the week ending 28 July, an AVO field party flew over the summit and observed typical steaming from the intra-caldera cone with no signs of recent ash emissions. Satellite and web camera views during occasional clear periods showed no other signs of activity. Occasional satellite views during clear weather failed to disclose new ash emissions during 28 July through 15 September.

AVO noted a slight increase in seismicity starting 2 August but in the subsequent weeks it again returned to low levels. Available satellite and camera views continued to reveal occasional small white plumes through 15 September.

Geologic Background. Massive Veniaminof volcano, one of the highest and largest volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA; Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA; and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/).