Lava Point, Akutan Island

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Lava Point, Akutan Island

by | Jul 5, 2019

Lava Point is a headland on the northwest coast of Akutan Island, in the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The descriptive name was first reported by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1902. Prior to that, it was called Flat Top by J.F. Moser of the U.S. Navy in 1897. Lava Point consists of about 1.5 square miles (400 ha) of jagged basalt extruded during eruptions of Mount Akutan.

Mount Akutan, officially named Akutan Peak, is a stratovolcano with an elevation of 4,275 feet (1,303 m). Akutan has a caldera about 1.2 miles (2 km) wide formed during a major explosive eruption about 1600 years ago. Recent eruptive activity has originated from a large cinder cone on the northeast part of the caldera. It has been the source of frequent explosive eruptions with occasional lava effusion that blankets the caldera floor. A lava flow in 1978 traveled through a narrow breach in the north caldera rim to within 1.2 miles (2 km) of the coast. Two volcanic centers are located on the northwest flank. Lava Peak dates to the Pleistocene age and a cinder cone lower on the flank produced a lava flow in 1852 that extended to the shoreline of the island and forms Lava Point.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has recorded 33 confirmed eruptions at Akutan, making it the volcano with the most eruptions in Alaska. The volcano erupted most recently in 1992, and there is still fumarolic activity at the base of Lava Point and there is hot springs northeast of the caldera. In March 1996, an earthquake swarm was followed by deformation of the volcanic edifice, including a lowering of the eastern side and a rise of the western side of the volcano. Read more here and here. Explore more of Lava Point here:

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