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The 2018 eruption of Mount Veniaminof, Alaska

August 1, 2022

The 2018 eruption of Mount Veniaminof occurred from September 3–4 to December 27, lasting about 114 days. This report summarizes the types of volcanic unrest that accompanied the eruption and provides a chronology of events and observations. Information about the 2018 eruption was derived from geophysical instrumentation on or near the volcano that included an eight-station seismic network and regional infrasound sensors. Other observations came from frequent satellite images of the eruption, occasional aerial photographs and videos contributed by passing pilots, and web-camera views of the volcano from Perryville, Alaska, about 35 kilometers (km) south of the volcano. Eruptive activity involved small vents on the upper south flank of a cinder cone (cone A) within the ice-filled caldera that characterizes Mount Veniaminof. The 2018 eruption consisted of occasional explosive emissions of ash and gas (reaching up to 6,000 meters above sea level), episodes of low-level lava fountaining, Strombolian explosive activity, and effusion of lava flows. By the end of the eruption, lava covered an area of about 600,000 square meters (m2) on the lower south flank of cone A. The lava flows melted into ice and snow, slowly creating melt depressions around the flow margins. No unusual outflows of water were observed exiting the caldera through the main drainage northwest of the cone. Minor ash emissions were generated throughout the eruptive period, and trace amounts of ash fell on Perryville on October 25 and November 21–22. There were no reports of aircraft encounters with ash clouds. The amount of lava and ash erupted from early September to late December 2018 resulted in the generation of about 1,200,000 cubic meters (m3) of lava and 20,000–30,000 m3 of ash, which would characterize the 2018 activity as having an eruption magnitude of 1–2 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) scale.

Publication Year 2022
Title The 2018 eruption of Mount Veniaminof, Alaska
DOI 10.3133/sir20225075
Authors Christopher F. Waythomas, Hannah R. Dietterich, Gabrielle Tepp, Taryn M. Lopez, Matthew W. Loewen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2022-5075
Index ID sir20225075
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center