Report on Veniaminof (United States) — 29 December-4 January 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 December-4 January 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 December-4 January 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
AVO raised the Concern Color Code at Veniaminof from Green to Yellow on 4 January because around that time several small ash emissions from the volcano's intracaldera cone were observed on the Internet camera in Perryville. Ash emissions were visible starting around 0938, but may have been obscured by meteorological clouds in previous images. The discrete ash emissions were small, rose hundreds of meters above the cone, and dissipated as they drifted E. Minor ash fall was probably confined to the summit caldera. Very weak seismic tremor was recorded beginning on 1 January, and increased slightly over the next 2 days. These seismic signals were similar to those recorded during steam-and-ash emissions in April to October, 2004. However, there were no indications from seismic data that events significantly larger than those observed around 4 January are imminent. AVO expects that steam-and-ash emissions may continue intermittently and could pose a hazard to people and low-flying aircraft in the vicinity of the active cone.
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.