Report on Spurr (United States) — 14 September-20 September 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 September-20 September 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Spurr (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 September-20 September 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
61.299°N, 152.251°W; summit elev. 3374 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 9-16 September, seismicity at Spurr remained above background levels, but there were several indications that the level of unrest was declining. AVO reported that recent observations of the summit lake showed a change in the water color from slate gray to blue-green, which could be indicative of decreasing sulfur-dioxide gas emissions. In addition, there were no observations of the vigorous upwelling of gases that had been seen in the lake earlier this summer. The overall rate of seismicity gradually declined during the previous several months, further suggesting a reduced level of activity. Minor steaming continued from the summit "melt pit" and occasionally from Crater Peak. 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.