Report on Pagan (United States) — 23 February-1 March 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 February-1 March 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Pagan (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 February-1 March 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
18.13°N, 145.8°E; summit elev. 570 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 22 February, the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level for Pagan were lowered to Unassigned. With the exception of a faint steam-and-gas plume observed on 24 January, no unusual activity at Pagan volcano had been detected in satellite imagery during the previous six weeks. Pagan is not monitored with ground-based geophysical instrumentation; the only source of information is satellite observations and occasional reports from island visitors.
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.