Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 1 September-7 September 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
1 September-7 September 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 September-7 September 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
AVO reported that eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus crater continued during 31 August-7 September. Multiple daily explosions were detected by seismic and infrasound networks. Ash-and-steam plumes from the explosions were sometimes confirmed in satellite and webcam images rising to altitudes lower than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l., though during 6-7 September ash plumes rose as high as 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Local ashfall on the island was visible in satellite data. Sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in satellite images during 31 August-2 September and on 6 September. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Geological Summary. 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 Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked Mount Cerberus was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the N flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the south side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 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 eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone could have been recently active.