- Current Update, last updated Jan 30, 2016 10:08 :
Satellite data and ground-based observations from a field crew and local residents indicate that steam and gas emissions from Mount Pagan Volcano have significantly decreased since March 2015.
Based on the decrease in visible emissions and the current inability to detect and monitor seismic and other volcanic activity, the alert status for Mount Pagan is changed from YELLOW to UNASSSIGNED. The monitoring network on Pagan Island is currently inoperable and data from onsite seismic, infrasound, and web camera instruments are not being received. Mount Pagan is therefore not monitored.
While the current sustained lack of visible emissions from Mount Pagan represents a change in the typical activity of recent years, there have been similar lulls in activity over the past couple decades, followed by periods of restored and sometimes vigorous activity. Satellite observations and on-island observations are currently the only means to detect any such future return to heightened activity levels.
Mount Pagan, one of two volcanoes that make up Pagan Island, is located on the northern end of the Island, and is one of the most historically active volcanoes in the Northern Mariana Islands. The last large eruption (VEI 4) of the volcano was in 1981, followed by three and a half decades of intermittent activity. The most recent activity has been characterized by vigorous steam plumes and degassing from a shallow magma source.
A new VAN will be issued if activity at Mount Pagan changes significantly or there is a change in the monitoring status of the volcano.
- Volcanic History Overview: Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Mariana Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the northern caldera, which probably formed during the early Holocene. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island. From the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program.
- Location: Mariana Islands, Mariana Islands
Elevation: 570 m
Recent Eruption: 2006
- Hazard Assessments: Sako, M. K.; Trusdell, F. A.; Koyanagi, R. Y.; Kojima, George; Moore, R. B., 1995, Volcanic investigations in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, April to May 1994, USGS Open-File Report 94-705.
- Link to monitoring data: NMI Web Site
Volcanic Alert Level: UNASSIGNED Aviation Color Code: UNASSIGNED