Logo link to homepage

Report on Shishaldin (United States) — 15 May-21 May 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 May-21 May 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Shishaldin (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 May-21 May 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (15 May-21 May 2002)


Shishaldin

United States

54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 10-17 May, the Alaska Volcano Observatory detected an increase in background seismicity at Shishaldin. There was an increase in the number of locatable shallow low-frequency earthquakes and several 2 to- 3-minute-long tremor-like signals that were inferred to be from a deep source. No thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery and there were no eyewitness reports of anomalous volcanic activity. Shishaldin remained at Concern Color Code Green ("volcano is in quiet, "dormant" state").

Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steam plume often rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)