Emmons Lake

Photo of this volcano
  • United States
  • Alaska
  • Caldera
  • Unknown - Evidence Credible
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 55.341°N
  • 162.073°W

  • 1436 m
    4710 ft

  • 312020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: September 1990 (BGVN 15:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Fumarolic activity

On 14 July at about 2100, Richard Mack observed and photographed a white plume that had risen 350-500 m from the SW side of the summit crater of Mt. Hague, near the E margin of Emmons Lake Caldera. A series of pulses slowly diminished in size until sunset at about 2200. Traces of material trailed SSW from the top of the plume.

Mack stated that he had not seen such activity during his 57 years on the Alaska Peninsula. However, during fieldwork in 1946, Kennedy and Waldron (1955) observed six large fumaroles and many other small ones in a steep gully on the SW side of Mt. Hague, at altitudes of ~975-1,150 m. They did not give plume heights, but reported clouds of SO2 and steam rising from the major vents, with a locomotive-like noise that was audible ½ km away. The volume of sulfur fumes prevented the geologists from approaching nearer than roughly 100 m from the vents. Sulfur odors were strong many kilometers downwind. Sulfur cones ~1 m high had developed around the vents and extensive deposits of native sulfur were found in the gully. Miller (in Wood and Kienle, 1990) also reported a large fumarolic area on the S side of Mt. Hague.

Miller notes two caldera-forming eruptions at Emmons Lake, the second, in late Wisconsin time, depositing non-welded rhyolitic ashflow tuffs >30 km from the caldera rim. Post-caldera activity, dominantly basaltic, generated lava flows from several small cinder cones and vents. Some young Holocene flows advanced through the breach in the S caldera wall to within 1 km of the ocean.

References. Kennedy, G.C. and Waldron, H.H., 1955, Geology of Pavlof Volcano and Vicinity, Alaska: USGS Bulletin 1028A, p. 1-20.

Miller, T.P., 1990, Emmons and Hague, in Wood, C.A. and Kienle, J., eds., 1990, Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada: Cambridge University Press, p. 52-53.

Information Contacts: J. Reeder, ADGGS.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Emmons Lake.

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.

09/1990 (BGVN 15:09) Fumarolic activity




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


September 1990 (BGVN 15:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Fumarolic activity

On 14 July at about 2100, Richard Mack observed and photographed a white plume that had risen 350-500 m from the SW side of the summit crater of Mt. Hague, near the E margin of Emmons Lake Caldera. A series of pulses slowly diminished in size until sunset at about 2200. Traces of material trailed SSW from the top of the plume.

Mack stated that he had not seen such activity during his 57 years on the Alaska Peninsula. However, during fieldwork in 1946, Kennedy and Waldron (1955) observed six large fumaroles and many other small ones in a steep gully on the SW side of Mt. Hague, at altitudes of ~975-1,150 m. They did not give plume heights, but reported clouds of SO2 and steam rising from the major vents, with a locomotive-like noise that was audible ½ km away. The volume of sulfur fumes prevented the geologists from approaching nearer than roughly 100 m from the vents. Sulfur odors were strong many kilometers downwind. Sulfur cones ~1 m high had developed around the vents and extensive deposits of native sulfur were found in the gully. Miller (in Wood and Kienle, 1990) also reported a large fumarolic area on the S side of Mt. Hague.

Miller notes two caldera-forming eruptions at Emmons Lake, the second, in late Wisconsin time, depositing non-welded rhyolitic ashflow tuffs >30 km from the caldera rim. Post-caldera activity, dominantly basaltic, generated lava flows from several small cinder cones and vents. Some young Holocene flows advanced through the breach in the S caldera wall to within 1 km of the ocean.

References. Kennedy, G.C. and Waldron, H.H., 1955, Geology of Pavlof Volcano and Vicinity, Alaska: USGS Bulletin 1028A, p. 1-20.

Miller, T.P., 1990, Emmons and Hague, in Wood, C.A. and Kienle, J., eds., 1990, Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada: Cambridge University Press, p. 52-53.

Information Contacts: J. Reeder, ADGGS.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Emmons Lake. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Emmons Lake page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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.

Photo Gallery


Emmons Lake is a massive 11 x 18 km caldera that is one of the largest calderas in the Aleutian arc. The caldera was formed during two very large Quaternary eruptions that produced welded tuffs that reached both the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean. This 1988 view from the SW shows the crescentic Emmons Lake, the south caldera wall (right) and Mount Emmons, a post-caldera volcano (left). The three post-caldera cones of Mount Emmons, Double Crater, and Mount Hague are oriented along the same NE trend as the elongated caldera.

Photo by Tom Miller, 1988 (U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Volcano Observatory).
See title for photo information.
Mount Emmons, a 1436-m stratovolcano (right center), was constructed at the SW side of the 11 x 18 km Emmons Lake caldera. Youthful lava flows from Mount Emmons form the irregular shoreline of Emmons Lake in the foreground. The high peaks in the background (left center) are Pavlof volcano, which was constructed just beyond the NE rim of Emmons Lake caldera, and Pavlof Sister volcano. No historical eruptions are known from Emmons Lake, although steam emission was observed in 1990 and 1991 from Mount Hague, hidden behind Mount Emmons in this view.

Photo by Tom Miller (Alaska Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey).
See title for photo information.
Snow-capped Mount Dutton volcano, seen here from the NE with the wall of Emmons Lake caldera in the foreground, is a small stratovolcano near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Successive dacitic lava domes overlying andesitic lava flows form the summit. Collapse of the summit during the Holocene produced debris avalanches that traveled to the west and also reached Belkofski Bay to the south. No historical eruptions are known, although earthquake swarms were recorded in 1984-85 and 1988.

Photo by Betsy Yount, 1986 (Alaska Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


The following 8 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 117233-168 Pumice
NMNH 117233-169 Tuff
NMNH 117233-170 Pumice
NMNH 117233-171 Pumice
NMNH 117233-172 Tuff
NMNH 117233-173 Pumice
NMNH 117233-180 Pumice
NMNH 117233-184 Pumice

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