Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 24 July-30 July 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 July-30 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, 24 July-30 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)
On 24 July AVO reported that satellite data from the previous week indicated that the 100-m-wide crater lake in the N cone of Semisopochnoi’s Cerberus three-cone cluster was gone, and a new shallow inner crater about 80 m in diameter had formed on the crater floor. The lake had persisted since January 2019. Seismicity during 25-30 July was characterized by periods of continuous tremor, low-frequency earthquakes, and small explosion signals. Small steam plumes were visible in periodic, cloud-free satellite images, along with minor sulfur dioxide emissions.
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 Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked 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 south side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 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.