Semisopochnoi

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  • United States
  • Alaska
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1987 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 51.93°N
  • 179.58°E

  • 1221 m
    4005 ft

  • 311060
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

18 June-24 June 2014

AVO reported that the earthquake swarm that had started at Semisopochnoi on 9 June continued until 23 June. No eruptive activity was indicated. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Index of Weekly Reports


2014: June

Weekly Reports


18 June-24 June 2014

AVO reported that the earthquake swarm that had started at Semisopochnoi on 9 June continued until 23 June. No eruptive activity was indicated. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)


11 June-17 June 2014

AVO reported that an earthquake swarm at Semisopochnoi started at 1000 on 9 June and escalated at 1200 on 12 June. The continuation of the anomalous activity prompted AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory on 13 June. The earthquake swarm was continuing as of 17 June. Five of the six seismic stations on the volcano were operational.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)


Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

04/1987 (SEAN 12:04) Plume; possible ash deposits


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC - 9 hours)

04/1987 (SEAN 12:04) Plume; possible ash deposits

A plume originating at about 52°N, 180° and extending 90 km ENE was noted by Steven Shivers from a NOAA 9 satellite image returned 13 April at 1731. On an image at 2135 the same day, the plume extended only 15 km ENE. On 24 April, pilot Harold Wilson (Peninsula Airways), flying 50 km SE of Semisopochnoi, noted a very dark-colored peak (perhaps Sugarloaf) among other snow-covered mountains on the island. Plumes from Semisopochnoi were reported several times in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Information Contacts: J. Reeder, ADGGS; T. Miller, USGS, Anchorage; W. Gould, NOAA/NESDIS.

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 1221-m-high Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked 774-m-high Mount Cerberus volcano was constructed during the Holocene within the caldera. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the northern flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the southern side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 855-m-high 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 historical eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone within the caldera could have been active during historical time.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1987 Apr 13 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Sugarloaf ?
1873 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations Cerberus
[ 1830 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Cerberus
[ 1792 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Cerberus
[ 1790 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Cerberus
[ 1772 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Cerberus

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.



Synonyms
Tserber


Cones
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Anvil Peak Cone 1221 m 51° 59' 0" N 179° 35' 13" E
Cerberus Stratovolcano 774 m 51° 56' 10" N 179° 35' 35" E
Lakeshore Cone Cone 178 m 51° 57' 11" N 179° 37' 23" E
Pochnoi Shield volcano
Ragged Top Cone 904 m 51° 55' 55" N 179° 40' 19" E
Sugarloaf Peak Stratovolcano 856 m 51° 54' 0" N 179° 38' 0" E
Three-Quarter Cone Cone 520 m 51° 57' 0" N 179° 32' 53" E
An aerial view of the SE coast of Semisopochnoi Island shows conical Sugarloaf peak (left-center) with its double parasitic cone (foreground) that was the source of one of the more recent flows. Sugarloaf was erupted outside the southern margin of an 8-km-wide caldera cutting Semisopochnoi. Cloud-draped Mount Cerebus was constructed within the caldera and forms the left horizon. Pre-caldera Ragged Top (right) shows a remnant constructional surface on its seaward face.

Photo by U.S. Navy (published in U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1028-O).
The western slopes of symmetrical Sugarloaf Peak (left) rise above tundra-covered Semisopochnoi Island. Semisopochnoi, the largest subaerial volcano of the western Aleutians, is 20 km wide at sea level and contains an 8-km-wide caldera. Three-peaked Mount Cerberus volcano was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene, along with symmetrical Sugarloaf Peak volcano outside of the caldera to the SSE. Most documented historical eruptions have originated from Cerberus.

Photo by Steve Ebbert, 1997 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Coats R R, 1950. Volcanic activity in the Aleutian Arc. U S Geol Surv Bull, 974-B: 35-47.

Coats R R, 1959a. Geologic reconnaissance of Semisopochnoi Island western Aleutian Islands Alaska. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1028-O: 477-519.

Delong S E, Perfit M R, McCulloch M T, Ach J, 1985. Magmatic evolution of Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska: trace-element and isotopic constraints. J Geol, 93: 609-618.

Henning R A, Rosenthal C H, Olds B, Reading E (eds), 1976. Alaska's volcanoes, northern link in the ring of fire. Alaska Geog, 4: 1-88.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Miller T P, McGimsey R G, Richter D H, Riehle J R, Nye C J, Yount M E, Dumoulin J A, 1998. Catalogue of the historically active volcanoes of Alaska. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 98-582: 1-104.

Motyka R J, Liss S A, Nye C J, Moorman M A, 1993. Geothermal resources of the Aleutian arc. Alaska Div Geol Geophys Surv, Prof Rpt, no 114, 17 p and 4 map sheets.

Myers J D, 1994. The Geology, Geochemistry and Petrology of the recent Magmatic Phase of the Central and Western Aleutian Arc. Unpublished manuscript, unpaginated.

Smith R L, Shaw H R, Luedke R G, Russell S L, 1978. Comprehensive tables giving physical data and thermal energy estimates for young igneous systems of the United States. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 78-925: 1-25.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
0

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Semisopochnoi Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.