Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 14 August-20 August 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 August-20 August 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, 14 August-20 August 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
AVO reported that during 14-17 August seismicity at Semisopochnoi remained elevated and was characterized by periods of continuous tremor and discrete low-frequency earthquakes; seismic data became unavailable starting sometime on 17 August. Cloudy weather often prevented satellite views of the volcano, however some recent clear views indicated that the N cone crater had a smooth featureless area, indicating water or tephra at an elevation several meters below the previous floor. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
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 was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the N 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.