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Report on Akutan (United States) — February 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 2 (February 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Akutan (United States) Continuous minor ash emission

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Akutan (United States) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198702-311320


United States

54.134°N, 165.986°W; summit elev. 1303 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Since 11 February, airplane pilots have reported some steam and ash emission every day (table 1). The highest ash column, on 1 March, was followed by increased activity the next day that ejected ash onto the N flank and deposited fine ash on Akutan village 14 km E of the active cinder cone.

[The following was originally mis-reported as being from Makushin.] On 2 March between 1700 and 1940, a dark eruption plume rose about 900 m above the volcano and drifted SW. After the eruption a 60-m-high steam plume remained.

Geological Summary. One of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian arc, Akutan contains 2-km-wide caldera with an active intracaldera cone. An older, largely buried caldera was formed during the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Two volcanic centers are located on the NW flank. Lava Peak is of Pleistocene age, and a cinder cone lower on the flank produced a lava flow in 1852 that extended the shoreline of the island and forms Lava Point. The 60-365 m deep younger caldera was formed during a major explosive eruption about 1600 years ago and contains at least three lakes. The currently active large cinder cone in the NE part of the caldera has been the source of frequent explosive eruptions with occasional lava effusion that blankets the caldera floor. A lava flow in 1978 traveled through a narrow breach in the north caldera rim almost to the coast. Fumaroles occur at the base of the caldera cinder cone, and hot springs are located NE of the caldera at the head of Hot Springs Bay valley and along the shores of Hot Springs Bay.

Information Contacts: J. Reeder, ADGGS.