Report on Veniaminof (United States) — 18 February-24 February 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 February-24 February 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 February-24 February 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During the week of 15 February, AVO received several reports of small ash clouds rising "several hundred feet" above the intracaldera cinder-and-spatter cone of Veniaminof. Residents of Perryville reported a "black puff" of ash on 16 February followed by strong steaming, and a pilot reported a small black ash cloud on 19 February. Satellite imagery on 19 February at 1410 showed a small, dark trail on the snow leading away from the intracaldera cone that was likely a very localized ash deposit. No significant seismic activity or thermal anomalies on satellite data were recorded during the week. Due to the lack of significant seismic activity beneath the volcano, AVO concluded that these small ash clouds were the result of minor explosions caused by the heating of ground water below the intracaldera cone. Veniaminof remained at Concern Color Code Green.
Geologic Background. Massive Veniaminof volcano, one of the highest and largest volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.