Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 15 March-21 March 2023
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
15 March-21 March 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Semisopochnoi (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 March-21 March 2023. 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 ash emissions from the N crater of Semisopochnoi’s Mount Young were observed in several web camera images during 18-19 March. Small explosions and volcanic tremor had also resumed. Ash emissions were not detected in satellite images, though on 18 March a robust steam-and-gas plume was visible drifting 150 km from the N crater. AVO raised the Volcano Alert Level to Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second highest color on a four-color scale) on 19 March. Low-level seismicity continued during 20-21 March and one small explosion was detected in seismic and infrasound data. Clouds obscured webcam and satellite views.
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)