Novarupta, meaning "new
eruption", is a volcano located on the
Peninsula in Katmai National
Park and Preserve, about southwest of Anchorage. Formed in 1912 during the largest volcanic
eruption of the 20th century, Novarupta
released 30 times the volume of magma as the
of Mount St. Helens.
Map showing volcanoes of Alaska.
Eruption of 1912
The largest eruption of the 20th century occurred in 1912, from
June 6 to June 8, to form Novarupta. Rated a 6 on the
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 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 Katmai 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.
Colorful ash in the Valley of Ten
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
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.