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Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for Akutan Volcano east-central Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Open-File Report 98-360

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Abstract

Akutan Volcano is a 1100-meter-high stratovolcano on Akutan Island in the east-central Aleutian Islands of southwestern Alaska. The volcano is located about 1238 kilometers southwest of Anchorage and about 56 kilometers east of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. Eruptive activity has occurred at least 27 times since historical observations were recorded beginning in the late 1700?s. Recent eruptions produced only small amounts of fine volcanic ash that fell primarily on the upper flanks of the volcano. Small amounts of ash fell on the Akutan Harbor area during eruptions in 1911, 1948, 1987, and 1989. Plumes of volcanic ash are the primary hazard associated with eruptions of Akutan Volcano and are a major hazard to all aircraft using the airfield at Dutch Harbor or approaching Akutan Island. Eruptions similar to historical Akutan eruptions should be anticipated in the future. Although unlikely, eruptions larger than those of historical time could generate significant amounts of volcanic ash, fallout, pyroclastic flows, and lahars that would be hazardous to life and property on all sectors of the volcano and other parts of the island, but especially in the major valleys that head on the volcano flanks. During a large eruption an ash cloud could be produced that may be hazardous to aircraft using the airfield at Cold Bay and the airspace downwind from the volcano. In the event of a large eruption, volcanic ash fallout could be relatively thick over parts of Akutan Island and volcanic bombs could strike areas more than 10 kilometers from the volcano.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for Akutan Volcano east-central Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
98-360
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1998
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Alaska Volcano Observatory ; U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
36 p., 1 plate; 24 illus.