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Report on Okmok (United States) — June 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 6 (June 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Okmok (United States) Minor ash emission

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Okmok (United States) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198706-311290


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Peninsula Airways pilot H. Wilson noted a bluish-gray haze just ESE of Okmok Caldera on 10 June at 1600, although clouds obscured the volcano. On 18 June at about 1500, Jay Brian Carribaburu (Peninsula Airways) observed minor ash emission from a cinder cone in the SW part of the caldera. Steam and ash were being continuously emitted from the cinder cone when T. Madsen (Aleutian Airways) flew by on 19 June at 1140. Steam and ash rose to 2,100 m (~1 km above the summit) and drifted ~11 km SW. Several large blasts of ash occurred during Madsen's observations. On 23 June, Wilson saw steam with minor ash rising to 500 m above the active cone.

Geological Summary. 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).