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Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 21 November-27 November 2018

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 November-27 November 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 November-27 November 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (21 November-27 November 2018)


Semisopochnoi

United States

51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


AVO reported that no evidence of activity at Semisopochnoi had been detected since an explosion was recorded in infrasound data on 31 October. The satellite link for transmitting seismic data failed on 1 November, though no activity was observed in satellite or infrasound data since then. As a result, the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow and Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory (both are the second lowest levels on four-level scales) on 21 November.

Geologic Background. Semisopochnoi, the largest subaerial volcano of the western Aleutians, is 20 km wide at sea level and contains an 8-km-wide caldera. It formed as a result of collapse of a low-angle, dominantly basaltic volcano following the eruption of a large volume of dacitic pumice. The high point of the island is 1221-m-high Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked 774-m-high Mount Cerberus volcano was constructed during the Holocene within the caldera. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the northern flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the southern side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 855-m-high Sugarloaf Peak SSE of the caldera and Lakeshore Cone, a small cinder cone at the edge of Fenner Lake in the NE part of the caldera. Most documented historical eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone within the caldera could have been active during historical time.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)