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Glacier-volcano interactions in the north crater of Mt. Wrangell, Alaska

January 3, 2016

Glaciological and related observations from 1961 to 2005 at the summit of Mt Wrangell (62.008 N, 144.028W; 4317 m a.s.l.), a massive glacier-covered shield volcano in south-central Alaska, show marked changes that appear to have been initiated by the Great Alaska Earthquake (MW = 9.2) of 27 March 1964. The 4 x 6 km diameter, ice-filled Summit Caldera with several post-caldera craters on its rim, comprises the summit region where annual snow accumulation is 1–2 m of water equivalent and the mean annual temperature, measured 10 m below the snow surface, is –20°C. Precision surveying, aerial photogrammetry and measurements of temperature and snow accumulation were used to measure the loss of glacier ice equivalent to about 0.03 km3 of water from the North Crater in a decade. Glacier calorimetry was used to calculate the associated heat flux, which varied within the range 20–140W m–2; total heat flow was in the range 20–100 MW. Seismicity data from the crater’s rim show two distinct responses to large earthquakes at time scales from minutes to months. Chemistry of water and gas from fumaroles indicates a shallow magma heat source and seismicity data are consistent with this interpretation.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2007
Title Glacier-volcano interactions in the north crater of Mt. Wrangell, Alaska
DOI 10.3189/172756407782282462
Authors Carl Abston, Roman J. Motyka, Stephen McNutt, Martin Luthi, Martin Truffer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Annals of Glaciology
Index ID 70170345
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Hazards Program