Akutan Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Update 001

Alaska Volcano Observatory Update
Monday, March 11, 1996 1 pm AST (2200 UTC)

At 7:30 pm AST last night, March 10, residents of the city of Akutan on Akutan Island began feeling continuous earthquake activity, punctuated occasionally by strong shocks. No damage has been reported. The city is located along the shore 13 km east of the summit of Akutan Volcano. Poor weather conditions have prevented visual observation of the volcano this morning.

Seismic observations at distant stations, and felt-earthquake reports from residents, indicate a very shallow volcanic source. This type of seismicity frequently precedes eruptive activity. AVO has no seismic monitoring equipment on the island and is currently mobilizing personnel and equipment to install temporary seismic stations. AVO is closely monitoring the situation and will issue further updates as information becomes available.

Akutan volcano is located on west central Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands 185 km southwest of the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. The communities of Unalaska and Dutch Harbor, lie 50 km to the southwest. Akutan is a stratovolcano with a 2-km-wide summit crater with an active cinder cone. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc with at least 27 separate eruptive episodes documented since 1790; due to the remoteness and sparse population of the island, it is likely that additional unrecorded events have occurred. The volcano frequently produces low-level eruptive activity including steam and ash emission.

Acting Coordinating Scientist is Chris Nye while John Eichelberger is on leave.

Terry E.C. Keith                                        Chris Nye
U.S. Geological Survey                                  Geophysical Institute
4200 University Drive                                   University of Alaska
Anchorage, AK  99508-4667                               Fairbanks, AK  99775
OFF= (907) 786-7443                                     OFF=(907) 474-7430
FAX= (907) 786-7425                                     FAX=(907) 474-5618