Akutan Volcano - John Seach


Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

54.13 N, 165.97 W
summit elevation 1303 m
stratovolcano with caldera

Akutan Volcano is a stratovolcano on Akutan Island in the east-central Aleutian Islands of southwestern Alaska. The volcano is located about 1238 kilometres southwest of Anchorage, and about 56 kilometres east of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The summit contains a 2 km diameter caldera with a small lake. Coastal erosion has exposed numerous lava tubes which have formed spectacular bridges and caves.

Akutan is one of the most volcanically active islands in the eastern Aleutian arc. Akutan Island is located at the transition between continental and oceanic crust.

Eruptions at Akutan volcano are typically moderately explosive, short-duration, and Stromolian, lasting for a few weeks. Hazards at the volcano include ash clouds, ashfall, volcanic bombs, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, and debris avalanches.

1996 Earthquakes
Intense seismicity was felt by Akutan residents on the evening of 10-11 March 1996. The swarm of 80 earthquakes lasted for 11 hours. The largest earthquake was magnitude 5.1. On 13th March, felt-earthquakes began occurring at a rate of greater than 1/minute. The largest earthquakes were felt as far away as Dutch Harbor/Unalaska 50 km SW of Akutan. On 14th March, earthquakes were strong enough to ring the bell in the Russian Orthodox Church, during a second swarm of 120 earthquakes. In total, more than 3000 earthquakes occurred beneath the island. Extensive ground cracking resulted, but no eruption occurred.

1992 Eruptions
Small steam and ash eruption occurred at Akutan volcano in April and December 1992.

1991 Eruptions
Summit ash emissions began in September, with a plume to 4500 m altitude. Ashfall was reporded at Akutan village.

1990 Eruptions
Small ash eruptions were reported in September and October. Maximum height of plumes were 1500 m above the summit.

1989 Eruptions
In March 1989 an air shock wave was felt by a pilot flying over the western shore of Akutan volcano. Black ash was emitted to a height of 2,300 m above the volcano.

1988 Eruptions
Ash emissions occurred at Akutan volcano between March and June 1988. Most observations were by pilots.

1987 Eruptions
On 22nd June 1987 a summit glow was seen by a fisherman in the Bering Sea. Two days later, a pilot reported ash emissions to 1300 m altitude from a large cinder cone in the summit crater.

1986 Eruptions
In June, numerous ash emissions to an altitude of 3.5 km were visible from Akutan village.

1980 Eruptions
On the 3rd July a recent lava flow that had moved through a breach in the NNW caldera wall was observed.

1978 Eruption
In 1978 lava flowed through a gap in the caldera and came within 1 km of the sea in the north. Strombolian eruptions occurred at the summit.

1977 Eruptions
Eruptions began in May, with light brown ash emissions every 15 minutes. Incandescence was noted in some eruptions.

1974 Eruptions
In February, ash was emitted hundreds of feet into the air, and lava flowed down the flank.

1973 Eruptions
Akutan volcano erupted ash and steam for several months, with the mountain snow-free.

1946-48 Eruptions
Lava flows occurred at the volcano caldera.

1924 Eruption
A lava flow occurred on the floor of the caldera.

Eruptions in the 1850's
A cinder cone and two lava flows were erupted north of Lava Peak. The lava flows formed two lobes which flowed into the sea, forming Lava Point.

Akutan Volcano Eruptions

1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1982-83, 1980, 1978, 1976-77, 1974, 1972-73, 1962, 1953, 1951, 1946-48, 1931, 1929, 1927-28, 1924, 1912, 1911, 1908, 1907, 1896, 1892, 1887, 1883, 1867, 1865, 1852, 1848, 1845?, 1838?, 1790?