Report on Veniaminof (United States) — 2 October-8 October 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 October-8 October 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 October-8 October 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Veniaminof remained restless during 26 September to 4 October. Seismicity was lower than when it was first noted in early September, although it was still above background level. Visual observations of Veniaminof were intermittent and inconclusive. AVO received reports ranging from minor-steam and possible ash emissions, to no signs of activity. A satellite image recorded on 2 October suggested an apparent gray, diffuse deposit extending across the caldera from the historically active intracaldera cinder cone. This could reflect a small explosion, vigorous steam emission, or redistribution of material on the cone by strong winds. No thermal anomalies were observed on satellite imagery. AVO considered the activity at Veniaminof to be minor, but the exact nature of the unrest remained unknown. Due to the continuing seismicity and reports of unusual steaming, the Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
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.