Great Sitkin

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 52.076°N
  • 176.13°W

  • 1740 m
    5707 ft

  • 311120
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

29 May-4 June 2002

On 27 and 28 May, AVO recorded anomalous seismicity at Great Sitkin. The seismicity consisted of two periods of seismic tremor on 27 May (lasting for 20 and 55 minutes) and two earthquake swarms on 28 May (beginning at 0406 and 1328). The earthquake swarms each began with a relatively large event (ML (local magnitude) 2.2 and ML 4.3) followed by tens to hundreds of smaller aftershocks, most located 5-6 km SE of the crater at depths of 0-5 km. Both the tremor and the earthquake swarms represent significant changes from what is considered to be normal, "background" seismicity at Great Sitkin. However, aftershocks declined significantly overnight, and no tremor episodes were detected after the 27th. There were neither signs of surface volcanic activity on satellite imagery nor ground-level reports of anomalous activity. Great Sitkin remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



 Available Weekly Reports


2002: May


29 May-4 June 2002

On 27 and 28 May, AVO recorded anomalous seismicity at Great Sitkin. The seismicity consisted of two periods of seismic tremor on 27 May (lasting for 20 and 55 minutes) and two earthquake swarms on 28 May (beginning at 0406 and 1328). The earthquake swarms each began with a relatively large event (ML (local magnitude) 2.2 and ML 4.3) followed by tens to hundreds of smaller aftershocks, most located 5-6 km SE of the crater at depths of 0-5 km. Both the tremor and the earthquake swarms represent significant changes from what is considered to be normal, "background" seismicity at Great Sitkin. However, aftershocks declined significantly overnight, and no tremor episodes were detected after the 27th. There were neither signs of surface volcanic activity on satellite imagery nor ground-level reports of anomalous activity. Great Sitkin remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)


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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1987 Mar 18 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1974 Feb 19 1974 Sep Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1953 May 11 ] [ 1953 May 14 ] Discredited    
1950 Nov 5 1950 Nov 29 Confirmed   Historical Observations
1949 Dec 30 1950 Jan 7 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1946 Aug 14 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1945 Mar Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1933 Nov Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
[ 1904 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1829 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1828 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
1792 May 26 ± 5 days Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
[ 1784 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    
[ 1760 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain    

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. 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. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

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

Coombs M L, White S M, Scholl D W, 2007b. Massive edifice failure at Aleutian arc volcanoes. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 256: 403-418.

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..

Keller F, Meuschke J L, Alldredge L R, 1954. Aeromagnetic surveys in the Aleutian, Marshall, and Bermuda Islands. Eos, Trans Amer Geophys Union, 35: 558-572.

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.

Romick J D, Kay S M, Kay R W, 1992. The influence of amphibole fractionation on the evolution of calc-alkaline andesite and dacite tephra from the central Aleutians, Alaska. Contr Mineral Petr 112: 101-118.

Simons F S, Mathewson D E, 1955. Geology of Great Sitkin Island, Alaska. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1028-B: 29-32.

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.

Constructed within the caldera of an older shield volcano forming the northern half of Great Sitkin Island, 1740-m-high Great Sitkin volcano contains a small, 0.8 x 1.2 km ice-filled summit caldera. Deep glacial valleys radiate from the summit, which lies at the eastern rim of the caldera, which was formed by massive edifice failure that produced a submarine debris avalanche that traveled more than 40 km to the north. The entire island is blanketed with a light-brown to black pumice layer up to 6 m thick. This deposit is overlain over much of the NW side of the island by ash deposits from a subsidiary vent NW of the caldera. Hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles occur near the head of Big Fox Creek, south of the volcano. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century. In 1945, a 400-600 m wide, flat-topped lava dome was emplaced through a glacier filling the steep-sided, 180-m-deep summit caldera.