Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 8 September-14 September 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 September-14 September 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, 8 September-14 September 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 eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus crater continued during 7-14 September. Seismicity was elevated and characterized by periods of continuous tremor. Short-lived explosions lasting several minutes were detected daily in infrasound data. Small ash clouds from the explosions rose 3-4.6 km (10,000-15,000 ft) and dissipated within two hours. Sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in satellite images at altitudes less than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l., sometimes extending downwind for hundreds of kilometers. During 7-9 September periods of lower-altitude ash emissions interspersed with voluminous steam plumes were observed in web camera images moving horizontally by the wind and rising no higher than 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
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.