Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 3 July-9 July 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 July-9 July 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 July-9 July 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
An increase in seismicity above background levels on 4 July at Semisopochnoi prompted AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale). Elevated seismicity continued through at least 9 July. No eruptive activity was detected in regional infrasound data, and cloudy conditions obscured satellite views of the volcano. [Correction: the Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was raised to Advisory.]
Geologic Background. Semisopochnoi, the largest subaerial volcano of the western Aleutians, is 20 km wide at sea level and contains an 8-km-wide caldera. It formed as a result of collapse of a low-angle, dominantly basaltic volcano following the eruption of a large volume of dacitic pumice. The high point of the island is 1221-m-high Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked 774-m-high Mount Cerberus volcano was constructed during the Holocene within the caldera. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the northern flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the southern side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 855-m-high Sugarloaf Peak SSE of the caldera and Lakeshore Cone, a small cinder cone at the edge of Fenner Lake in the NE part of the caldera. Most documented historical eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone within the caldera could have been active during historical time.