Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 8 December-14 December 2021
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 December-14 December 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 December-14 December 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 low-level eruptive activity and elevated seismicity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus crater continued during 8-14 December. Several daily explosions were detected in seismic and infrasound data. Small ash clouds drifting at least 185 km SE were identified in satellite images during 8-9 December. Persistent steam emissions occasionally punctuated by ash emissions were visible in webcam views during 10-11 December, and ash emissions were visible the next day even though conditions were mostly cloudy. 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.