Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 21 August-27 August 2019
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 August-27 August 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 August-27 August 2019. 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 during 17-23 August seismicity at Semisopochnoi remained elevated and was characterized by periods of continuous tremor and discrete low-frequency earthquakes; seismic data went offline starting sometime on 17 August, though was available by around 22 August. Ground-coupled airwaves, indicative of explosive activity, were sometimes recorded in seismic data; an infrasound signal was recorded during 23-24 August. Cloudy weather often prevented satellite views of the volcano, though a steam plume was visible on 18 August and sulfur dioxide emissions were detected during 21-22 August. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
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 (renamed Mount Young in 2023) was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the N flank 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 Young, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone could have been recently active.