Atka

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  • United States
  • Alaska
  • Stratovolcano(es)
  • 1812 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 52.331°N
  • 174.139°W

  • 1448 m
    4749 ft

  • 311160
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: June 1996 (BGVN 21:06) Cite this Report


Eruption of volcanic ash

On 29 June, Japan Airlines reported volcanic ash erupting from Atka. In addition, GEOS-9 satellite images showed a possible small ash cloud in the immediate vicinity of Atka. In early May 1995 residents of Atka village observed a small plume-like cloud over Kliuchef and reported a strong sulfur smell (BGVN 20:05).

[The 1996 eruption described here was later discredited.]

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA, b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys; NOAA/NESDIS Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB), Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Atka.

Bulletin Reports - Index


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

11/1993 (BGVN 18:11) "Rumbling" and degassing accompanies M 5.1 earthquake

05/1995 (BGVN 20:05) Small plume-like cloud over Kliuchef and very strong sulfur smell

06/1996 (BGVN 21:06) Eruption of volcanic ash




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


November 1993 (BGVN 18:11) Cite this Report


"Rumbling" and degassing accompanies M 5.1 earthquake

On 10 December AVO reported the following. "On 4 December, following a M 5.1 earthquake at 1836 beneath the . . . island of Atka, residents of Atka village reported "rumbling" from the cluster of volcanoes that forms the N part of the island. At the same time, residents observed increased steaming from a fumarolic area on the flank of Kliuchef volcano and noted a distinct sulphur smell. A check of satellite imagery did not confirm any change in the surface state of the volcanoes. Late this week, the weather had deteriorated and no visual observations of the volcanoes were possible. . . ."

Information Contacts: AVO.


May 1995 (BGVN 20:05) Cite this Report


Small plume-like cloud over Kliuchef and very strong sulfur smell

Observers in the village of Atka on Atka Island in the central Aleutians reported a very strong sulfur smell on 1 May, and to a lesser extent on 4 May when they observed a small plume-like cloud over Kliuchef. Fumarolic areas exist on or near both Korovin and Kliuchef volcanoes, N of the village. Korovin was active most recently in 1987, and Kliuchef has had Holocene activity. Satellite images did not reveal any plume-like clouds associated with the island, however, a "hot-spot" possibly of fumarolic areas, was observed. A similar sulfur smell was reported by residents in December 1993, at about the same time they felt rumbling from a M 5.1 earthquake (BGVN 18:11).

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA, b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.


June 1996 (BGVN 21:06) Cite this Report


Eruption of volcanic ash

On 29 June, Japan Airlines reported volcanic ash erupting from Atka. In addition, GEOS-9 satellite images showed a possible small ash cloud in the immediate vicinity of Atka. In early May 1995 residents of Atka village observed a small plume-like cloud over Kliuchef and reported a strong sulfur smell (BGVN 20:05).

[The 1996 eruption described here was later discredited.]

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA, b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys; NOAA/NESDIS Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB), Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption

Elevation

Latitude
Longitude
311160

1812 CE

1448 m / 4749 ft

52.331°N
174.139°W

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano(es)
Caldera
Lava dome
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Dacite
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Intermediate crust (15-25 km)

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
207
207

Geological Summary

The largest volcanic center in the central Aleutians, Atka consists of a central shield and Pleistocene caldera with several post-caldera volcanoes. A major dacitic explosive eruption accompanied formation of the caldera about 500,000 to 300,000 years ago. The most prominent of the post-caldera stratovolcanoes are Kliuchef and Sarichef, both of which may have been active in historical time. Sarichef has a symmetrical profile, but the less eroded Kliuchef is the source of most if not all historical eruptions. Kliuchef may have been active on occasion simultaneously with Korovin volcano to the north. Hot springs and fumaroles are located on the flanks of Mount Kliuchef and in a glacial valley SW of Kliuchef.

References

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Coats R R, 1950. Volcanic activity in the Aleutian Arc. U S Geol Surv Bull, 974-B: 35-47.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Miller T P, McGimsey R G, Richter D H, Riehle J R, Nye C J, Yount M E, Dumoulin J A, 1998. Catalogue of the historically active volcanoes of Alaska. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 98-582: 1-104.

Motyka R J, Liss S A, Nye C J, Moorman M A, 1993. Geothermal resources of the Aleutian arc. Alaska Div Geol Geophys Surv, Prof Rpt, no 114, 17 p and 4 map sheets.

Myers J D, 1994. The Geology, Geochemistry and Petrology of the recent Magmatic Phase of the Central and Western Aleutian Arc. Unpublished manuscript, unpaginated.

Myers J D, March B D, Sinha A K, 1985. Strontium isotopic and selected trace element variations between two Aleutian volcanic centers (Adak and Atka): implications for the development of arc volcanic plumbing systems. Contr Mineral Petr, 91: 221-234.

Myers J D, Marsh B D, Frost C D, Linton J A, 2002. Petrologic constraints on the spatial distribution of crustal magma chambers, Atka volcanic center, central Aleutian arc. Contr Mineral Petr, 143: 567-586.

Smith R L, Shaw H R, Luedke R G, Russell S L, 1978. Comprehensive tables giving physical data and thermal energy estimates for young igneous systems of the United States. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 78-925: 1-25.

Wood C A, Kienle J (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ Press, 354 p.

Eruptive History


Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1996 Jun 29 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 1995 May 1 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1  
1812 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Sarichef or more probably Kliuchef

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Kliuchef
    Kliuchevskoy
Stratovolcano 1448 m 52° 19' 48" N 174° 8' 25" W
Sarichef
    Sarutschew
    Sarytchev
Stratovolcano 1022 m 52° 18' 39" N 174° 1' 54" W

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Atka Caldera 1193 m 52° 17' 50" N 174° 7' 6" W

Thermal

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Milky River Thermal 1140 m 52° 19' 20" N 174° 8' 54" W

Photo Gallery


An aerial view from the WNW shows a young satellitic vent on the northeast shoulder of Kluichef volcano. Clouds touch the tip of Sarichef volcano in the center distance. Kliuchef lies within a Pleistocene Atka caldera and is the most recently active of the post-caldera stratovolcanoes at Atka.

Photo by Game McGimsey, 2004 (Alaska Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


A listing of samples from the Smithsonian collections will be available soon.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Atka Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.