Logo link to homepage

Report on Shishaldin (United States) — 20 August-26 August 2014


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 August-26 August 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Shishaldin (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 August-26 August 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (20 August-26 August 2014)


United States

54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

AVO reported that during 20-26 August low-level eruptive activity continued at Shishaldin volcano. A steam and gas plume was visible in web camera and satellite images occasionally during the week. On 20 August satellite images showed a steam plume extending 60 km N of the volcano. On 23 August a pilot reported a steam-and-ash plume rose about 300 m (1,000 ft) above the summit and drifted NE. On 20-22 and 26 August elevated surface temperatures at the summit were detected in clear satellite views. Infrasound sensors located in Dillingham and on Akutan Island detected sound waves from the direction of Shishaldin that were consistent with low-level eruptive activity. No significant activity noted in seismic data. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Geological Summary. The symmetrical glacier-covered Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." Constructed atop an older glacially dissected edifice, 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. A steam plume often rises from the summit crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)