Novarupta Lava Dome

October 22, 2011

Nova 1 (2)

Photographer: Wendy Van Norden
Summary Author: Wendy Van Norden

The photo above shows a lava dome created by the largest volcanic eruption during the 20th century -- the eruption of Novarupta in June of 1912. This gargantuan eruption emitted thirty times more material than was expelled by Mount St. Helens in 1980. After the eruption, more viscous lava oozed up from the cone's magma chamber and solidified into volcanic breccias, forming this huge volcanic dome. Around the dome you can see a ring of tephra, composed of pyroclastics. If you look carefully between the tephra ring and the dome on the right side of the picture, you can see blue and yellow specs -- these are our tents. Not only did we have a dramatic campsite, but during the chilly weather we were able to enjoy warm steam emitted by the few remaining fumaroles in the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. Photo taken on July 26, 2011.