Report on Pagan (United States) — 31 August-6 September 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 August-6 September 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Pagan (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 August-6 September 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
18.13°N, 145.8°E; summit elev. 570 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
A Northern Mariana Islands status report noted that during 26 August-2 September low-level vapor plumes from Pagan, possibly containing minor amounts of ash, were visible in satellite imagery. Reports from people on Pagan Island also indicated intermittent low-level but diffuse ash emissions and trace amounts of ashfall on parts of the island. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.
Geologic Background. Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Mariana Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the northern caldera, which may have formed less than 1000 years ago. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.