Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 18 December-24 December 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
18 December-24 December 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 December-24 December 2019. 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 ash plumes below 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. from Semisopochnoi were identified in satellite images on 14 and 17 December; ash plumes on 17 December drifted about 15 km SE. During 17-20 December seismicity was characterized by tremor bursts and small explosions, though cloudy weather conditions prevented visual confirmation. Elevated seismicity was recorded on 21 December. Nothing significant was detected during 22-24 December. 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 (renamed Mount Young in 2023) was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the N flank 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 Young, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone could have been recently active.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)