Geological aspects of the 2003-2004 eruption of Anatahan Volcano, Northern Mariana Islands

Setsuya Nakada, Takeshi Matsushima, Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Takeshi Sugimoto, Teruyuki Kato, Tsuyoshi Watanabe, Ramon Chong, Juan T. Camacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Anatahan Volcano, Northern Mariana Islands, began erupting in May-June 2003. A series of subplinian explosive eruptions of andesite magma began at the Eastern Crater in the eastern part of the summit caldera on the evening of 10 May. Brown tephra was sent mainly westward by strong winds. Small-scale pyroclastic surges were discharged eastward outside the caldera in late May. An andesite lava dome that had once filled the inner crater was fragmented by phreatomagmatic explosions in the middle of June. The phreatomagmatic explosions probably occurred due to interaction of the magma head with groundwater around the crater, and abundant very fine ash ("gray tephra") was discharged within the caldera and over most of the island. The volume of eruption products of the May-June eruption was estimated to be 1.4 × 107 m3 dense-rock-equivalent. Erupted pumices and lava are aphyric andesite and are variously colored depending on their vesicularity. The SiO2 contents of erupted materials decreased slightly with time. The fine gray ash is depleted in alkalies, probably due to leaching by acid hydrothermal fluids during explosions. Seismic activity resumed in late March 2004, and small strombolian-like explosions were repeated in May and June 2004. About half of the inner crater was filled with new scoria and lava.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-240
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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