Report on Shishaldin (United States) — 5 February-11 February 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 February-11 February 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Shishaldin (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 February-11 February 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures in Shishaldin's summit crater were detected in satellite images during 5-6 February. No unusual seismicity was detected by the nearest working station off the flanks of the volcano. A possible ash-poor gas cloud was detected in satellite images beginning at 0645 on 7 February that may have been from a small explosion, too small to be detected by the seismometer but coinciding with a local tiltmeter signal. Satellite image analysis suggested that the short-lived cloud may have risen to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. Elevated surface temperatures were not detected after the event, so very little if any hot material was ejected. During 9-11 February elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite images and a tiltmeter 5.4 km SW of the volcano recorded a small signal. Clear or partly clear web cam images showed no activity. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.
Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steam plume often rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.