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Crater Peak (Mt. Spurr), Alaska: Eruptions of 1992

browse graphicFollowing the August eruption, the inside of Crater Peak was mantled with pryoclastic debris and coarse talus from rock avalanches from the steep crater walls. The actual orifice or vent for the eruptions is located at the back (NW) corner of the crater, here steaming profusely. Other "rootless" fumaroles emit steam through the thick blanket of debris on the crater rim and where banked against the crater walls.
Alaska has a number of active and potentially active volcanoes. More than one-half of the population of Alaska lives within 300 km of an active volcano. In the last 100 years there have been two eruptions at Mr. Spurr, three at Redoubt Volcano, and four eruptions at the Augustine Volcano. The 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano resulted in 160 million dollars of damageand loss. This set follows the story of Crater Peak activity from June through October, 1992, and discusses precursors, the eruptions, and effects on the environment. Mt. Spurr, located 124 km due west of Anchorage, Alaska, is an ice-covered, silicic-andesite dome complex that has not erupted in historic times. Crater Peak is a satellite vent perched on the southern rim of a Mt. Spurr caldera that formed 10,000-20,000 years ago. Crater Peak, active for at least the last 5,000 years, is a basaltic-andesite stratocone with a summit crater approximately 800 m across at its rim. Prior to the 1992 eruptions, it last erupted in 1953. There were vigorous fumarole fields and a smallwarm lake in the summit crater. Increased seismicity began at Crater Peak in August of 1991. By June of 1992 scientists noted an increase in the temperature and acidity of asummit lake. A flight over the summit on June 26 revealed that the summit lake had drained away. Seismicity increased and Crater Peak erupted explosively on 0704 AST on June 27. The eruption column reached 15 km and ash fall was reported 425 km to the north. Avalanches of hot debris flowed down the south flank and mixed with snow to form debris flows (lahars) that traveled up to six km from the crater. Following the June 27 eruption the volcano's seismicity returned to pre-August 1991 levels. Almost two months later on August 18, a commercial flight over the volcano discovered an ash plume emanating from Crater Peak. Then at 1641 AST, almost without warning, Crater Peak explosively erupted, sending a plume of ash to more than 14 km in altitude. Large volcanic bombs were thrown 750 m above the vent. Lithic blocks of up to one meter diameter were thrown as far as 3.8 km southeast of Crater Peak. Pyroclastic (hot debris) flows traveled as much as three kilometers from the crater rim. The volume of the ash plume was about twice the volume produced by the June eruption. During the night of September 16-17, Crater Peak again erupted. As in the first two eruptions a 15-km tephra cloud and pyroclastic flows also accompanied this eruption. A variety of eruption products including frothy, glassy material and large brown to gray andesitic bombs were produced by all three eruptions. Fragmental debris varying in size from very fine ash to large blocks several meters across littered the slopes of the volcano. The August 18 eruption of Crater Peak produced troublesome ash falls in Anchorage, 124 km distant. Residents had to wear particle masks and take special precautions to protect car engines and electronic equipment. The International Airport at Anchorage was closed for 20 hours by the ash fall. The ash fall from the September 16-17 eruption heavily impacted the communities in the Matanuska-Susitna and Copper River basins. There have been periods of intense seismicity since the eruption in August of 1992.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
Distribution Formats
  • TIFF
Distributor User Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
303-497-6826
ngdc.info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Hazards Data Manager
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI> National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
haz.info@noaa.gov
Documentation links not available.
Date(s)
  • publication: 1994
Edition: First
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: Not planned
Purpose: Make available Damage Photos for research and education
Originator(s)
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (comp)
Publisher(s)
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • National Geophysical Data Center
Time Period: 1992-06 to 1992-10
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 61.3
S: 61.13
E: -149.53
W: -152.25
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords NASA/GCMD Earth Science Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Volcanoes > Eruption Dynamics
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Volcanoes > Lava
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Volcanoes > Magma
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Volcanoes > Pyroclastics
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Volcanoes > Volcanic Ash/Dust
INFOTERRA Keyword Thesaurus
  • Lithosphere > Seismic activity > Seismic activity
  • Lithosphere > Volcanoes > Volcanoes
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Place keywords Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • North America > United States > Alaska > Kenai Peninsula > Spurr, Mount
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
Use Constraints
  • Access Constraints: None Use Constraints: None Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Access Constraints
  • Access Constraints: None Use Constraints: None Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Fees
  • $25.00
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Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Last Modified: 2015-10-14
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