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Akutan reported activity





Event Name : Akutan 1949/4

Start:April 29, 1949 Observed
Stop:June 1949 ± 3 MonthsObserved

Lava flow: BibCard BibCard BibCard
Tephrafall: BibCard BibCard BibCard BibCard
Lahar, debris-flow, or mudflow: BibCard
Tephra plume: BibCard BibCard BibCard BibCard
Central eruption: BibCard BibCard BibCard BibCard
Minor explosive eruption: BibCard BibCard
Eruption Type:Explosive
MaxVEI: 2 BibCard
Eruption Product: basalt BibCard

Description: Unknown (Earth Science Digest, 1949) reports: "* * * According to Hugh McGlashan, postmaster at Akutan, a village 8 miles east of the volcano, 1/8 inch of ash fell on the village during the night of April 29. Ash mixed with sleet continued to fall all during the following day because of a steady west wind from the direction of the volcano. Now snow on the higher slopes of the volcano is covered by a heavy black layer of ash. The eruption continued full scale until May 10 and then decreased somewhat in intensity.

"On May 17 several of the villagers made a closer approach to the volcano and reported hot lava flowing down the northwest slope. Considerable steam was rising at the front of the lava where it encountered the winter blanket of snow. This material may have been a hot mudflow, formed by lava mixing with snow, ice, and boulders inside the crater.

"* * * * Approximately two weeks prior to the recent eruption, three heavy earthquakes were felt at the village."

From Byers and Barth (1953): "The clatter of falling rock was perhaps what had been heard by local residents as a "crackling roar" (Finch, 1935, p. 159) during the 1929 eruption.

"Within a minute after the first discharge, a dark grey cauliflower-shaped cloud extending nearly a mile above the cone could be seen on a clear day. This cloud was soon dissipated by the wind. Frequently, the blasts were sharp enough to be termed explosions, and then resembled quarry blasts. Some of the explosions were loud enough to be heard at Akutan village, 8 miles distant.

"Smaller puffs of lighter grey, ash-laden clouds [see fig. 5 in original text] occurred between major blasts at intervals ranging from a few minutes to a few hours. Usually, several smaller puffs followed a major blast." A block ejected during this time period was analyzed in thin section and found to be saturated calcic basalt.

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