Report on Veniaminof (United States) — 12 March-18 March 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 March-18 March 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 March-18 March 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The elevated seismicity that began in mid-December 2002 at Veniaminof continued during 7-14 March. On 11 March a 4-hour period of continuous seismic tremor was recorded, followed by 17 hours of discrete seismic events and 3- to 4-minute-long tremor bursts. This culminated with another 4-hour period of continuous tremor on 12 March. Seismicity then declined, and by the 14th was characterized by the occurrence of about one small-amplitude discrete seismic event every 1-2 minutes. AVO reported that based on this seismicity, low-level steaming and minor ash-emissions may occur at any time. 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 reaches an elevation of 2156 m and 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.