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Report on Supply Reef (United States) — December 1989

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 12 (December 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Supply Reef (United States) Renewed activity at September site

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Supply Reef (United States). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198912-284142.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Supply Reef

United States

20.13°N, 145.1°E; summit elev. -8 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


An ocean bottom seismometer off the Boso Peninsula, Japan, and hydrophones on Wake Island detected renewed episodes of apparent submarine volcanism on 22-24 and 26-27 December. Arrival directions and times were very similar to those from the 21-22 September activity, and probably originated from the same area.

Seismicity began to be recorded by the Boso Peninsula instrument on 22 December at about 0630, and events soon became frequent, although intervals between events were slightly longer than in September. Seismicity had nearly ended shortly before 0200 on 24 December, although one additional shock was recorded at 0245. T-phase signals resumed on 26 December at about 1600 and continued until about 2300 the next day, but occurred at significantly longer intervals than the two earlier episodes.

Using more precise sound velocities, Univ of Hawaii geophysicists refined the locations of the 21-22 September events to about 20.3°N, 144.9°E, roughly 30 km S of . . . Farallon de Pajaros (Uracas). The potential location error remains large, but is oriented along a NE-SW line oblique to the volcanic chain. The 21-22 September locations are very close to the site of the most recent documented activity near Farallon de Pajaros, a 3-km zone of discolored water that was observed in September 1985 near the 1969 eruption site.

Geologic Background. Supply Reef is a conical submarine volcano in the northern Mariana Islands that rises to within 8 m of the surface. The andesitic seamount lies about 10 km NW of the Maug Islands, the emergent summit of a submarine volcano that is joined to Supply Reef by a low saddle at a depth of about 1800 m. Supply Reef was mapped as Quaternary; living corals on the crater rim suggest that it is either dormant or extinct (Corwin, 1971). Several submarine eruptions have been detected by sonar signals originating from points very approximately located at distances of 15-25 km NW.

Information Contacts: Y. Sawada, JMA; C. McCreery and D. Walker, Univ of Hawaii.