Katmai

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  • United States
  • Alaska
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1912 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 58.28°N
  • 154.963°W

  • 2047 m
    6714 ft

  • 312170
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

11 May-17 May 2011

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, pilot observations, KVERT reports, and information from AVO, the Anchorage VAAC reported that on 11 May strong winds in the Katmai area re-suspended loose ash deposited during the 1912 eruption. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Normal and the Aviation Color Code remained at Green.

Source: Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Index of Weekly Reports


2011: May
2010: November
2005: November
2003: September

Weekly Reports


11 May-17 May 2011

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, pilot observations, KVERT reports, and information from AVO, the Anchorage VAAC reported that on 11 May strong winds in the Katmai area re-suspended loose ash deposited during the 1912 eruption. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Normal and the Aviation Color Code remained at Green.

Source: Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


24 November-30 November 2010

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from AVO, the Anchorage VAAC reported that on 29 November strong winds in the Katmai area picked up loose ash deposited during the 1912 eruption and carried it SE over Kodiak Island. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Normal and the Aviation Color Code remained at Green.

Source: Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


2 November-8 November 2005

Strong winds in the Katmai area picked up loose ash deposited during the 1912 eruption and carried it E over Kodiak Island. AVO recorded a large area of resuspended ash on satellite imagery. The National Weather Service estimated that the top of the plume was at 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. Katmai remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)


17 September-23 September 2003

According to the National Weather Service, strong winds on 21 September in the Katmai area picked up old, loose volcanic ash and carried it E over Kodiak Island. AVO received reports that some of this material fell in Kodiak. This was not the result of volcanic activity and no eruption occurred. Re-suspended volcanic ash should be considered as hazardous as primary volcanic ash, and a threat to aircraft. The volcanoes in the Katmai cluster remained at Concern Color Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)


Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

09/2003 (BGVN 28:09) Strong winds resuspend old ash deposits, causing a large plume and distant ashfall


Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

09/2003 (BGVN 28:09) Strong winds resuspend old ash deposits, causing a large plume and distant ashfall

According to the National Weather Service, strong winds in the Katmai area on 21 September 2003 picked up old, loose volcanic ash and carried it E. Reports of minor ashfall were reported from Kodiak Island, ~ 100 km from Katmai. This phenomenon was not the result of volcanic activity and no eruption occurred.

Andrea Steffke of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, reported a relatively large ash cloud observed in satellite images coming from the Katmai area on 21 September 2003. The cloud was first seen in satellite imagery (AVHRR, GOES, and MODIS) extending ~ 69 km to the SE. The maximum temperature difference observed was -1.46°C. Dave Schneider of the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported on 22 September 2003 that at its greatest extent the cloud was detectable for ~ 400 km. It was initially observed by an overflying (high-altitude) jet, and subsequently identified in split-window images from AVHRR, MODIS, and GOES satellites. Additional pilot reports placed the cloud top at ~ 2.1 km altitude.

The Katmai Group of volcanoes are seismically monitored by AVO, so it was possible to quickly confirm that an eruption had not taken place. SIGMETS were issued by the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) for this event and an AVO Information Release was distributed that indicated that this cloud of re-suspended ash was potentially hazardous to aircraft. This event is unusual in its intensity and extent of transport. The Katmai region is characterized by frequent high winds that can be strong enough to re-suspend large (several centimeters in size) pumice fragments, yet these events typically don't produce large, extensive airborne ash clouds.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.

Prior to 1912, Mount Katmai was a compound stratovolcano with four NE-SW-trending summits, most of which were truncated by caldera collapse in that year. Two or more large explosive eruptions took place from Mount Katmai during the late Pleistocene. Most of the two overlapping pre-1912 Katmai volcanoes are Pleistocene in age, but Holocene lava flows from a flank vent descend the SE flank of the SW stratovolcano into the Katmai River canyon. Katmai was initially considered to be the source of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes ash flow in 1912. However, the 3 x 4 km wide caldera of 1912 is now known to have formed as a result of the voluminous eruption at nearby Novarupta volcano. The steep walled young caldera has a jagged rim that rises 500-1000 m above the caldera floor and contains a 250-m-deep, still-rising lake. Lake waters have covered a small post-collapse lava dome (Horseshoe Island) that was seen on the caldera floor at the time of the initial ascent to the caldera rim in 1916. Post-1912 glaciers have formed on a bench within Katmai caldera.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1931 May 8 ] [ 1931 Jul ] Discredited    
[ 1929 Dec ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 1921 Nov 27 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 1920 Mar 9 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 1914 Jul ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1912 Jun 6 1912 Jul 21 (in or after) Confirmed 3 Historical Observations

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.



Domes
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Horseshoe Island Dome
Katmai caldera, a collapse feature formed during the catastrophic eruption of the nearby Novarupta vent in June 1912 is seen here in an aerial view from the NE. The steep-walled, 1.5-km-wide Katmai caldera truncates a formerly 2290-m-high cluster of overlapping stratovolcanoes. The caldera is partially filled by a blue-green lake that is about 250 m deep and rising. Beyond the caldera are the multiple peaks of Trident volcano; Mageik volcano is the snow-and-ice-covered cone on the skyline.

Photo by Chris Nye, 1991 (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Alaska Volcano Observatory).
Katmai caldera, seen here from its west rim, is a 3 x 4.5 km wide caldera that formed in 1912. Little if any eruptive activity took place at Katmai itself, which prior to collapse was a complex of 4 small overlapping stratovolcanoes. Hydraulic draining of magma away from Katmai to Novarupta volcano (10 km to the west) during the catastrophic 1912 eruption caused the collapse of the unsupported summit(s) of Katmai. The 250-m-deep caldera lake covers a small lava dome and tuff ring that were erupted on the floor of the caldera.

Photo by Game McGimsey, 1990 (Alaska Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Curtis G H, 1968. The stratigraphy of the ejecta from the 1912 eruption of Mount Katmai and Novarupta, Alaska. Geol Soc Amer Mem, 116: 153-210.

Fenner C N, 1930. Mount Katmai and Mount Mageik. Zeit Vulk, 13: 1-24.

Fierstein J, 2007. Explosive eruptive record in the Katmai region, Alaska Peninsula: an overview. Bull Volc, 69: 469-509.

Henning R A, Rosenthal C H, Olds B, Reading E (eds), 1976. Alaska's volcanoes, northern link in the ring of fire. Alaska Geog, 4: 1-88.

Hildreth W, 1983. The compositionally zoned eruption of 1912 in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park, Alaska. J Volc Geotherm Res, 18: 1-56.

Hildreth W, 1987. New perspectives on the eruption of 1912 in the Valley of Ten Tousand Smokes, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Bull Volc, 49: 680-693.

Hildreth W, Fierstein J, 2000. Katmai volcanic cluster and the great eruption of 1912. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 112: 1594-1620.

Hildreth W, Lanphere M A, Fierstein J, 2003b. Geochronology and eruptive history of the Katmai volcanic cluster, Alaska Peninsula. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 214: 93-114.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Miller T P, McGimsey R G, Richter D H, Riehle J R, Nye C J, Yount M E, Dumoulin J A, 1998. Catalogue of the historically active volcanoes of Alaska. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 98-582: 1-104.

Motyka R J, Liss S A, Nye C J, Moorman M A, 1993. Geothermal resources of the Aleutian arc. Alaska Div Geol Geophys Surv, Prof Rpt, no 114, 17 p and 4 map sheets.

Wood C A, Kienle J (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ Press, 354 p.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Lava dome

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite
Minor
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Rhyolite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
128

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Katmai Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.