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Report on Pagan (United States) — 5 May-11 May 2010

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 May-11 May 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Pagan (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 May-11 May 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (5 May-11 May 2010)


Pagan

United States

18.13°N, 145.8°E; summit elev. 570 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Steam and gas plumes from Pagan were seen in satellite imagery on 28 April (UTC) and 3 May; no unusual thermal activity was identified. A visitor to the island saw a minor ash emission on the morning of 3 May. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was raised to Advisory on 6 May based on the recent satellite observations and confirmed minor ashfall on the island.

Geologic Background. Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Mariana Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the northern caldera, which may have formed less than 1000 years ago. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program