Report on Veniaminof (United States) — 24 March-30 March 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
24 March-30 March 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Veniaminof (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 March-30 March 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
AVO reported that eruptive activity at Veniaminof continued during 24-25 and 27-30 March. Highly elevated surface temperatures were visible in satellite images along with ash deposits that were primarily confined to the summit and upper flanks on 23 March. Low-level tremor was recorded in local seismic data. During 24 March explosions were recorded in local seismic data and in infrasound data sensors; frequent explosive booming (several per minute) was reported by residents in Perryville (35 km SE) and Chignik Lagoon (55 km NE). Cloud cover prevented visual confirmation during this period of increased seismicity. Fresh ash deposits extending 10 km SE in the summit caldera were observed in satellite data on 25 March. Satellite data also showed highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit and flank vent during clear weather days on 25, 28, and 29 March. Discrete, short-lived ash emissions were detected during the afternoon and evening of 27 March in images from the FAA webcam in Perryville. The intermittent events lasted several minutes and produced small ash clouds that rose less than 300 m (1,000 ft) above the vent and drifted SE, which may have resulted in trace ashfall in Perryville, though there was no confirmed evidence. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geological Summary. Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.