Report on Semisopochnoi (United States) — 17 May-23 May 2023
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
17 May-23 May 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, 17 May-23 May 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 17 May AVO reported that eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi had declined during the previous week, though seismicity remained slightly elevated and low-level steaming continued from Mount Young. Ash emissions had last occurred on 5 May leaving minor deposits on the NW flank of Mount Young’s N crater. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory (the second highest level on a four-level scale). Intense gas emissions were periodically visible in webcam images during 17-18 and 20-21 May. On 22 May a weak sulfur dioxide signal was detected, suggestive of low-level degassing.
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)