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Record of late holocene debris avalanches and lahars at Iliamna Volcano, Alaska

January 1, 2000

Iliamna Volcano is a 3053-meter high, glaciated stratovolcano in the southern Cook Inlet region of Alaska and is one of seven volcanoes in this region that have erupted multiple times during the past 10,000 yr. Prior to our studies of Iliamna Volcano, little was known about the frequency, magnitude, and character of Holocene volcanic activity. Here we present geologic evidence of the most recent eruptive activity of the volcano and provide the first outline of Late Holocene debris-avalanche and lahar formation. Iliamna has had no documented historical eruptions but our recent field investigations indicate that the volcano has erupted at least twice in the last 300 yr. Clay-rich lahar deposits dated by radiocarbon to ???1300 and ???90 yr BP are present in two major valleys that head on the volcano. These deposits indicate that at least two large, possibly deep-seated, flank failures of the volcanic edifice have occurred in the last 1300 yr. Noncohesive lahar deposits likely associated with explosive pyroclastic eruptions date to 2400-1300,>1500,???300, and <305 yr BP. Debris-avalanche deposits from recent and historical small-volume slope failures of the hydrothermally altered volcanic edifice cover most of the major glaciers on the volcano. Although these deposits consist almost entirely of hydrothermally altered rock debris and snow and ice, none of the recently generated debris avalanches evolved to lahars. A clay-rich lahar deposit that formed <90??60 radiocarbon yr BP and entered the Johnson River Valley southeast of the volcano cannot be confidently related to an eruption of Iliamna Volcano, which has had no known historical eruptions. This deposit may record an unheralded debris avalanche and lahar. ?? 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Year 2000
Title Record of late holocene debris avalanches and lahars at Iliamna Volcano, Alaska
DOI 10.1016/S0377-0273(00)00202-X
Authors C. F. Waythomas, T. P. Miller, J. E. Beget
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Index ID 70022136
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse