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Report on Tanaga (United States) — 5 October-11 October 2005


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 October-11 October 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Tanaga (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 October-11 October 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (5 October-11 October 2005)


United States

51.885°N, 178.146°W; summit elev. 1806 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

AVO detected an increase in seismic activity beneath Tanaga beginning on 1 October, with 15-68 earthquakes occurring daily. Previously, less than one earthquake had occurred per month since the seismic network was installed in 2003. The earthquakes were centered roughly 2 km NE of the volcano's summit at depths of 10-20 km below sea level. The largest event was M 1.7, with most earthquakes between M 0.5-1.5. Tanaga was at Concern Color Code Green on 5 October. During 5-7 October, there was a marked increase in the rate of seismicity. The located earthquakes ranged in magnitude from 0.5 to 1.9 and ranged in depth from 6 to 12 km beneath the volcano's summit. In response to the observed changes in seismic activity, AVO raised the Concern Color Code to Yellow on 7 October. AVO reported that while the seismic activity represented a significant increase in rate, the size, depths and character of the events were not indicative of imminent eruptive activity.

Geological Summary. Tanaga volcano, the second largest volcanic center of the central Aleutians, is the central and highest of three youthful stratovolcanoes oriented along a roughly E-W line at the NW tip of Tanaga Island. Ridges to the east and south represent the rim of an arcuate caldera formed by collapse of an ancestral edifice during the Pleistocene. Most Holocene eruptions originated from Tanaga volcano itself, which consists of two large cones, the western of which is the highest, constructed within a caldera whose 400-m-high rim is prominent to the SE. At the westernmost end of the complex is conical Sajaka, a double cone that may be the youngest of the three volcanoes. Sajaka One volcano collapsed during the late Holocene, producing a debris avalanche that swept into the sea, after which the Sajaka Two cone was constructed within the collapse scarp.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)