Logo link to homepage

Report on Great Sitkin (United States) — 29 May-4 June 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Great Sitkin (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (29 May-4 June 2002)


Great Sitkin

United States

52.076°N, 176.13°W; summit elev. 1740 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 27 and 28 May, AVO recorded anomalous seismicity at Great Sitkin. The seismicity consisted of two periods of seismic tremor on 27 May (lasting for 20 and 55 minutes) and two earthquake swarms on 28 May (beginning at 0406 and 1328). The earthquake swarms each began with a relatively large event (ML (local magnitude) 2.2 and ML 4.3) followed by tens to hundreds of smaller aftershocks, most located 5-6 km SE of the crater at depths of 0-5 km. Both the tremor and the earthquake swarms represent significant changes from what is considered to be normal, "background" seismicity at Great Sitkin. However, aftershocks declined significantly overnight, and no tremor episodes were detected after the 27th. There were neither signs of surface volcanic activity on satellite imagery nor ground-level reports of anomalous activity. Great Sitkin remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Geologic Background. The Great Sitkin volcano forms much of the northern side of Great Sitkin Island. A younger parasitic volcano capped by a small, 0.8 x 1.2 km ice-filled summit caldera was constructed within a large late-Pleistocene or early Holocene scarp formed by massive edifice failure that truncated an ancestral volcano and produced a submarine debris avalanche. Deposits from this and an older debris avalanche from a source to the south cover a broad area of the ocean floor north of the volcano. The summit lies along the eastern rim of the younger collapse scarp. Deposits from an earlier caldera-forming eruption of unknown age cover the flanks of the island to a depth up to 6 m. The small younger caldera was partially filled by lava domes emplaced in 1945 and 1974, and five small older flank lava domes, two of which lie on the coastline, were constructed along northwest- and NNW-trending lines. Hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles occur near the head of Big Fox Creek, south of the volcano. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)