Report on Erebus (Antarctica) — 21 November-27 November 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 November-27 November 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Erebus (Antarctica). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 November-27 November 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
77.53°S, 167.17°E; summit elev. 3794 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
As of 23 November, frequent Strombolian eruptions (~1-10 per day) occurred from a persistent ~15-m-diameter summit lava lake at Erebus. In addition, infrequent small ash eruptions took place at a vent adjacent to the lava lake.
Geologic Background. Mount Erebus, the world's southernmost historically active volcano, overlooks the McMurdo research station on Ross Island. It is the largest of three major volcanoes forming the crudely triangular Ross Island. The summit of the dominantly phonolitic volcano has been modified by one or two generations of caldera formation. A summit plateau at about 3,200 m elevation marks the rim of the youngest caldera, which formed during the late-Pleistocene and within which the modern cone was constructed. An elliptical 500 x 600 m wide, 110-m-deep crater truncates the summit and contains an active lava lake within a 250-m-wide, 100-m-deep inner crater; other lava lakes are sometimes present. The glacier-covered volcano was erupting when first sighted by Captain James Ross in 1841. Continuous lava-lake activity with minor explosions, punctuated by occasional larger Strombolian explosions that eject bombs onto the crater rim, has been documented since 1972, but has probably been occurring for much of the volcano's recent history.
Source: Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory