Report on Makushin (United States) — January 1995

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 20, no. 1 (January 1995)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Makushin (United States) Small steam-and-ash plume reported by pilots

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1995. Report on Makushin (United States). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 20:1. Smithsonian Institution.

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United States

53.891°N, 166.923°W; summit elev. 1800 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A small steam-and-ash cloud observed by Coast Guard C-130 pilots at 1246 on 30 January reportedly rose to ~2,400 m altitude and was carried NE from the volcano. Several pilots reported a diminishing light brown ash plume during the next hour, and all activity apparently subsided shortly thereafter. A satellite image recorded at 1345 showed no sign of eruptive activity, but the NWS issued a SIGMET that ran until 1700.

Geologic Background. The ice-covered, 1800-m-high Makushin volcano on northern Unalaska Island west of the town of Dutch Harbor is capped by a 2.5-km-wide caldera. The broad, domical structure of Makushin contrasts with the steep-sided profiles of most other Aleutian stratovolcanoes. Much of the volcano was formed during the Pleistocene, but the caldera (which formed about 8000 years ago), Sugarloaf cone on the ENE flank, and a cluster of about a dozen explosion pits and cinder cones at Point Kadin on the WNW flank, are of Holocene age. A broad band of NE-SW-trending satellitic vents cuts across the volcano. The composite Pakushin cone, with multiple summit craters, lies 8 km to the SW of Makushin. Frequent explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 4000 years, sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and surges. Geothermal areas are found in the summit caldera of Makushin and on the SE and eastern flanks of the volcano. They represent the largest and most investigated high-temperature geothermal resources in Alaska. Small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded at Makushin since 1786.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory.