Volcanic activity on Umnak and Great Sitkin Islands, 1946–1948

Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
By:  and 



As part of the United States Geological Survey's volcano program in the Aleutian volcanic arc during 1946–1948, the volcanoes and thermal areas on Umnak and Great Sitkin Islands were studied. In addition to observation of the volcanoes, temperatures of fumaroles were measured and some products of the volcanic activity were collected and analyzed.

After an eruption in 1945, Cone A in Okmok Caldera on northeastern Umnak Island remained relatively quiet during the period 1946–1948. The fumarole gases contained water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The incrustations associated with the sulfur dioxide fumaroles are the sulfate minerals halotrichite, gypsum, and soda alum. Temperatures of lava fumaroles at the source of the December, 1945 lava flow from Cone A dropped from an average of 320°C on July 19, 1946, to 90°C on September 5, 1946. With exception of the large central fumarole which reached red heat in 1947, the extra crater fumaroles of Cone A ranged from 96° to 98° C in temperature

Cone C, another cone in Okmok Caldera was in the solfataric stage and emitted water vapor, hydrogen sulfide, and probably carbon dioxide. Incrustations associated with fumaroles on this cone consisted of sulfur, pyrite, and aragonite. The temperatures of the fumaroles ranged from 95° to 96°C and were probably kept within this narrow range partly by the heat supplied during condensation of steam.

Sixteen large thermal springs emerging from the base of Cone D in Okmok Caldera had an aggregate discharge of approximately 115 cfs and gave off approximately 21,000 kcal of heat per second on September 7, 1946.

Water samples of thermal springs on Umnak Island contained as high as 159 ppm of boron expressed as B203 and a few parts per million of arsenic and antimony. Several of the thermal springs in southwestern Umnak Island were slightly superheated with respect to the boiling point of water and behaved as small geysers. As has been found elsewhere, the discharge, temperature, and composition of the emanations from a spring is modified by surface conditions of topography and drainage.

Thermal springs and fumaroles on Great Sitkin Island occurred at an altitude of about 2000 ft near the head of the west fork of Big Fox Creek. All the fumaroles were at or near a temperature of 100°C. The large crater fumarole in the center of the 1945 crater dome was unapproachable. No change in the activity of Great Sitkin volcano was observed between 1946 and August 1948.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Volcanic activity on Umnak and Great Sitkin Islands, 1946–1948
Series title Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
DOI 10.1029/TR030i005p00719
Volume 30
Issue 5
Year Published 1949
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Description 16 p.
First page 719
Last page 734
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Umnak and Great Sitkin Islands
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