Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 12 May-18 May 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 May-18 May 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 May-18 May 2021. 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 weakly elevated surface temperatures and sulfur dioxide gas emissions at Semisopochnoi were identified in satellite images during 16-17 May. Several small explosions were recorded in infrasound data during 17-18 May; a small ash cloud was observed in a satellite image from 1521. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions and steaming from the active vents were identified in satellite data. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level was raised to Watch on 18 May.
Geological Summary. 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 eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone could have been recently active.