More than 20 eruptive events during the 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano emplaced a complex sequence of lithic pyroclastic-flow, -surge, -fall, ice-diamict, and lahar deposits mainly on the north side of the volcano. The deposits record the changing eruption dynamics from initial gas-rich vent-clearing explosions to episodic gas-poor lava-dome extrusions and failures. The repeated dome failures produced lithic pyroclastic flows that mixed with snow and glacial ice to generate lahars that were channelled off Drift glacier into the Drift River valley. Some of the dome failures occurred without precursory seismic warning and appeared to result solely from gravitational instability. Material from the disrupted lava domes avalanched down a steep, partly ice-filled canyon incised on the north flank of the volcano and came to rest on the heavily crevassed surface of the piedmont lobe of Drift glacier. Most dome-collapse events resulted in single, monolithologic, massive to reversely graded, medium- to coarse-grained, sandy pyroclastic-flow deposits containing abundant dense dome clasts. These deposits vary in thickness, grain size, and texture depending on distance from the vent and local topography; deposits are finer and better sorted down flow, thinner and finer on hummocks, and thicker and coarser where ponded in channels cut through the glacial ice. The initial vent-clearing explosions emplaced unusual deposits of glacial ice, snow, and rock in a frozen matrix on the north and south flanks of the volcano. Similar deposits were described at Nevado del Ruiz, Columbia and have probably been emplaced at other snow-and-ice-clad volcanoes, but poor preservation makes them difficult to recognize in the geologic record. In a like fashion, most deposits from the 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano may be difficult to recognize and interpret in the future because they were emplaced in an environment where glacio-fluvial processes dominate and quickly obscure the primary depositional record. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Proximal pyroclastic deposits from the 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska - stratigraphy, distribution, and physical characteristics