Articles

Tsunamis Generated by Eruptions from Mount St. Augustine Volcano, Alaska

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Science  12 Jun 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4807, pp. 1442-1447
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4807.1442

Abstract

During an eruption of the Alaskan volcano Mount St. Augustine in the spring of 1986, there was concern about the possibility that a tsunami might be generated by the collapse of a portion of the volcano into the shallow water of Cook Inlet. A similar edifice collapse of the volcano and ensuing sea wave occurred during an eruption in 1883. Other sea waves resulting in great loss of life and property have been generated by the eruption of coastal volcanos around the world. Although Mount St. Augustine remained intact during this eruptive cycle, a possible recurrence of the 1883 events spurred a numerical simulation of the 1883 sea wave. This simulation, which yielded a forecast of potential wave heights and travel times, was based on a method that could be applied generally to other coastal volcanos.