A late Wisconsin volcano erupted onto the Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary bedrock of Augustine Island in lower Cook Inlet in Alaska. Olivine basalt interacting with water erupted explosively. Rhyolitic eruptive debris then swept down the south volcano flank while late Wisconsin glaciers from mountians on western mainland surrounded the island. Early to middle Holocene deposits probably erupted onto the island but are now largely buried. About 5,200, 3,750, 3,500 and 2,275 yr B.P. Augustine ash fell 70 to 110 km away.
Since about 2,300 yr B.P. several large eruptions deposited coarse-pumice fall beds on the volcano flanks; many smaller eruptions dropped sand and silt ash. The steep summit erupting viscous andesite domes has repeatedly collapsed into rocky avalanches that flowed into the sea. After a collapse, new domes rebuilt the summit. One to three avalanches shed east before about 2,100 yr B.P., two large ones swept east and southeast between about 2,100 and 1,700 yr B.P., and one shed east and east-northeast between 1,700 and 1,450 yr B.P. Others swept into the sea on the volcano's south, southwest, and north-northwest between about 1,450 and 1,100 yr B.P., and pyroclastic fans spread southeast and southwest. Pyroclastic flows and surges poured down the west and south flanks and a debris avalanche plowed into the western sea between about 1,000 and 750 yr B.P. A small debris avalanche shed south-southeast between about 750 and 390 yr B.P., and large lithic pyroclastic flows went southeast.
From about 390 to 200 yr B.P., three rocky avalanches swept down the west-northwest, north-northwest, and north flanks. The large West Island avalanche reached far beyond a former sea cliff and initiated a tsunami. Augustine's only conspicuous lava flow erupted on the north flank.
In October 1883 a debris avalanche plowed into the sea to form Burr Point on the north-northeast; then came ashfall, pyroclastic surge, and pyroclastic flows. Eruptions in 1935 and 1963-64 grew summit lava domes that shed coarse rubbly lithic pyroclastic flows down the southwest and south flanks. Eruptions in 1976 and 1986 grew domes that shed large pyroclastic flows northeast, north, and north-northwest.
The largest debris avalanches off Augustine sweep into
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Ejecta and Landslides from Augustine Volcano Before 2006