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Report on Augustine (United States) — 15 February-21 February 2006


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
15 February-21 February 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Augustine (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 February-21 February 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (15 February-21 February 2006)


United States

59.363°N, 153.43°W; summit elev. 1252 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 15-19 February, AVO seismometers at Augustine recorded occasional rockfalls and small pyroclastic-flow signals indicative of minor collapses of the volcano's lava dome. During the previous week, the number of these events declined, suggesting that the rate of lava effusion may have slowed. Clear satellite views of the volcano on 16 February showed a thermal anomaly in the summit crater area. On the 19th, the web camera showed a light dusting of ash on the ENE flank of the volcano. AVO stated that during the report period a plume composed of variable amounts of gas, steam, and small amounts of ash was probably being emitted intermittently from Augustine's summit. They warned that occasional very localized ash clouds and light ashfall will be produced by collapses from the lava dome. Augustine remained at Concern Color Code Orange.

Geological Summary. Augustine volcano, rising above Kamishak Bay in the southern Cook Inlet about 290 km SW of Anchorage, is the most active volcano of the eastern Aleutian arc. It consists of a complex of overlapping summit lava domes surrounded by an apron of volcaniclastic debris that descends to the sea on all sides. Few lava flows are exposed; the flanks consist mainly of debris-avalanche and pyroclastic-flow deposits formed by repeated collapse and regrowth of the summit. The latest episode of edifice collapse occurred during Augustine's largest historical eruption in 1883; subsequent dome growth has restored the volcano to a height comparable to that prior to 1883. The oldest dated volcanic rocks on Augustine are more than 40,000 years old. At least 11 large debris avalanches have reached the sea during the past 1,800-2,000 years, and five major pumiceous tephras have been erupted during this interval. Historical eruptions have typically consisted of explosive activity with emplacement of pumiceous pyroclastic-flow deposits followed by lava dome extrusion with associated block-and-ash flows.

Sources: Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)