Report on Shishaldin (United States) — 16 October-22 October 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 October-22 October 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Shishaldin (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 October-22 October 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 17 October AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Shishaldin to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch noting that new lava effusion in the summit crater had begun on 13 October. Weather clouds had mostly prevented views of the crater during 12-18 October; elevated surface temperatures were detected during 13 and 17-20 October. A steam plume was visible in webcam images on 19 October.
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.