ash flow


Novarupta, meaning "new eruption", is a volcano located on the Alaska Peninsula in the Katmai, about southwest of Anchorage. Formed in 1912 during one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, Novarupta released 30 time the volume of magma as the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Eruption of 1912

One of the largest eruptions of the 20th century occurred in 1912, from June 6 to June 8, to form Novarupta. Rated a 6 on the volcanic explosivity index, the 60 hour long eruption expelled of magma, 30 times as much as the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The erupted magma resulted in more than of air fall and approximately of ash-flow tuff Only the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines was of a similar magnitude during the 20th century, ejecting of tephra. At least two larger eruptions occurred in the 19th century: the 1815 eruption of Tambora (of tephra) and the 1883 eruption of Indonesia's Krakatoa (of tephra).

Eruption of such a large quantity of magma from underneath the Mount Katmai area resulted in the formation of a wide funnel shaped vent and the collapse of the summit of Mount Katma creating a deep, caldera.

The eruption ended with the extrusion of a lava dome that plugged the vent. The high and wide dome is what is now referred to as Novarupta.

Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

Pyroclastic ash flow from the eruption formed what was named the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes by botanist Robert F. Griggs, who explored the volcano's aftermath for the National Geographic Society in 1916.

The eruption forming of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is one of the few in recorded history to have produced welded tuff, producing numerous fumaroles that persisted for 15 years.

Katmai National Park

Established as a National Park & Preserve in 1980, Katmai is located on the Alaska Peninsula, across from Kodiak Island, with headquarters in nearby King Salmon, about 290 miles southwest of Anchorage. The area was originally designated a National Monument in 1918 to protect the area around the major 1912 volcanic eruption of Novarupta and the , deep, pyroclastic flow of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.


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