Report on Spurr (United States) — 22 September-28 September 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 September-28 September 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Spurr (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 September-28 September 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
61.299°N, 152.251°W; summit elev. 3374 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Elevated seismicity continued at Spurr during 17-24 September, with an average of ten earthquakes occurring within 30 km of the summit daily. The combined output of carbon dioxide from one vent at Crater Peak and one at Spurr was approximately 2,300 tons on 15 September, an increase from the approximately 760 tons/day measured during 7-8 August. AVO reported that the gray color of the lake at the bottom of the ice cauldron is typical of crater lakes containing dissolved sulfur dioxide. These observations further suggest that magma resides beneath the volcano. However, there were no indications that an eruption is imminent, and this type of activity does not always lead to an eruption. Spurr remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Geologic Background. The summit of Mount Spurr, the highest volcano of the Aleutian arc, is a large lava dome constructed at the center of a roughly 5-km-wide horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the south. The volcano lies 130 km W of Anchorage and NE of Chakachamna Lake. The caldera was formed by a late-Pleistocene or early Holocene debris avalanche and associated pyroclastic flows that destroyed an ancestral edifice. The debris avalanche traveled more than 25 km SE, and the resulting deposit contains blocks as large as 100 m in diameter. Several ice-carved post-caldera cones or lava domes lie in the center of the caldera. The youngest vent, Crater Peak, formed at the breached southern end of the caldera and has been the source of about 40 identified Holocene tephra layers. Eruptions from Crater Peak in 1953 and 1992 deposited ash on the city of Anchorage.