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Report on Anatahan (United States) — 20 October-26 October 2004

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 October-26 October 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Anatahan (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 October-26 October 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (20 October-26 October 2004)


Anatahan

United States

16.35°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 790 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 27 September, the first long-period seismic events since July 2004 were recorded at Anatahan. Only a few, small events were recorded. Beginning on 12 October, several periods of small, rather regularly spaced long-period events were recorded at intervals of 4 to 15 seconds. This seismicity began several hours after the onset of a series of intense tropical depressions and storms. On 18 October, people in Saipan smelled H2S during very hazy visibility, but no plume was detected on satellite imagery by the Washington VAAC.

Geologic Background. The elongate, 9-km-long island of Anatahan in the central Mariana Islands consists of a large stratovolcano with a 2.3 x 5 km compound summit caldera. The larger western portion of the caldera is 2.3 x 3 km wide, and its western rim forms the island's high point. Ponded lava flows overlain by pyroclastic deposits fill the floor of the western caldera, whose SW side is cut by a fresh-looking smaller crater. The 2-km-wide eastern portion of the caldera contained a steep-walled inner crater whose floor prior to the 2003 eruption was only 68 m above sea level. A submarine cone, named NE Anatahan, rises to within 460 m of the sea surface on the NE flank, and numerous other submarine vents are found on the NE-to-SE flanks. Sparseness of vegetation on the most recent lava flows had indicated that they were of Holocene age, but the first historical eruption did not occur until May 2003, when a large explosive eruption took place forming a new crater inside the eastern caldera.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program