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Report on Okmok (United States) — March 1987

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 3 (March 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Okmok (United States) Vigorous ash eruption seen 31 January

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Okmok (United States). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198703-311290.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Okmok

United States

53.43°N, 168.13°W; summit elev. 1073 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


At 1600 on 31 January, Chuck Harvey and Marlaine Lovess observed several ash explosions from 42 km E of the active cone. Consecutive black ash plumes rose vertically to several kilometers above the summit and formed mushroom-like clouds.

Geologic Background. The broad, basaltic Okmok shield volcano, which forms the NE end of Umnak Island, has a dramatically different profile than most other Aleutian volcanoes. The summit of the low, 35-km-wide volcano is cut by two overlapping 10-km-wide calderas formed during eruptions about 12,000 and 2050 years ago that produced dacitic pyroclastic flows that reached the coast. More than 60 tephra layers from Okmok have been found overlying the 12,000-year-old caldera-forming tephra layer. Numerous satellitic cones and lava domes dot the flanks of the volcano down to the coast, including 1253-m Mount Tulik on the SE flank, which is almost 200 m higher than the caldera rim. Some of the post-caldera cones show evidence of wave-cut lake terraces; the more recent cones, some of which have been active historically, were formed after the caldera lake, once 150 m deep, disappeared. Hot springs and fumaroles are found within the caldera. Historical eruptions have occurred since 1805 from cinder cones within the caldera.

Information Contacts: J. Reeder, Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS).