The 1999 basaltic eruption of Shishaldin volcano (Alaska, USA) displayed both classical Strombolian activity and an explosive Subplinian plume. Strombolian activity at Shishaldin occurred in two major phases following the Subplinian activity. In this paper, we use acoustic measurements to interpret the Strombolian activity. Acoustic measurements of the two Strombolian phases show a series of explosions that are modeled by the vibration of a large overpressurised cylindrical bubble at the top of the magma column. Results show that the bubble does not burst at its maximum radius, as expected if the liquid film is stretched beyond its elasticity. But bursting occurs after one cycle of vibration, as a consequence of an instability of the air-magma interface close to the bubble minimum radius. During each Strombolian period, estimates of bubble length and overpressure are calculated. Using an alternate method based on acoustic power, we estimate gas velocity to be 30-60 m/s, in very good agreement with synthetic waveforms. Although there is some variation within these parameters, bubble length and overpressure for the first Strombolian phase are found to be ??? 82 ?? 11 m and 0.083 MPa. For the second Strombolian phase, bubble length and overpressure are estimated at 24 ?? 12 m and 0.15 MPa for the first 17 h after which bubble overpressure shows a constant increase, reaching a peak of 1.4 MPa, just prior to the end of the second Strombolian phase. This peak suggests that, at the time, the magma in the conduit may contain a relatively large concentration of small bubbles. Maximum total gas volume and gas fluxes at the surface are estimated to be 3.3 ?? 107 and 2.9 ?? 103 m3/s for the first phase and 1.0 ?? 108 and 2.2 ?? 103 m3/s for the second phase. This gives a mass flux of 1.2 ?? 103 and 8.7 ?? 102 kg/s, respectively, for the first and the second Strombolian phases. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.