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Wrangell reported activity





Event Name : Wrangell 1884/10

This is a questionable event.

Start:October 26, 1884 Observed
Stop:February 4, 1885 ± 1 DaysObserved

Active; type of activity not specified: BibCard
"Smoke": BibCard BibCard BibCard
Tephra plume: BibCard
Minor explosive eruption: BibCard
Eruption Type:Explosive
MaxVEI: 2 BibCard

Description: The journal of John Bremner, a prospector who lived among the Copper River Indians, was found at Nuchuk in 1886 by Heywood Walter Seton-Karr, and published by Seton-Karr in Shores and alps of Alaska (1887) records an eruptive event at Mt. Wrangell. John Bremner's journal starts on September 1, 1884, but no metion is made of Wrangell until October 26: "Clear but verey cold the floor of my cabin is frose two foot from the fire and I thought I had made it almost air tight so you see I am in no danger of melting with the heat. I saw the Volcano smoking for the first time to-day it is the mountin laid down on the chart as Mt. Wrangle it dont look more than twenty-five or thirtey miles from here but the natives say it will take me three days to go thar I cant get one of them to go near it so I will have to go alone I sholl go as soon as the river is safe."

On February 3, 1885, Bremner describes a more robust eruption: "A beautifull day not a cloud in the sky I was treated to a sight to-day that I wish you could have seen the volcano has been verey quite (quiet) a good while but to-day it is sending out a vast column of smoke and hurling imense stones hundreds of feet high in the air the mases it is throwing up must be verey large to be seen here it is at least thirty milles in a air line from here to the mouth of the crater it has mde no loud reports onley a sort of rumbling noise."

He continues on February 4, 1885: "A little colder but pleasant the Volcano has stoped throwing stones ore making a noise but is still sending out an imense cloud of smoke it is verey beautifull not a breath of wind and the smoke ascends to a great hight in an imense colum before spreading out."

His next entry is not until February 5, which states that the weather is cloudy. The journal ends on February 7, with no further mentions of Wrangell.

Other reports of this eruption include: Becker (1898) recording that Wrangell "in eruption" in 1884, and Mendenhall (1903) reporting that Lieutenant Allen observed smoke from Wrangell in 1885. Although some steam from Wrangell in 1884/1885 seems probable, an eruption as robust as the one Bremner describes is questionable. It is doubtful that Bremner could have seen the sights he describes from a distance of ~30 miles.

AVO thanks LeEric Marvin for directing us to Seton-Karr's book.

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Page modified: March 30, 2017 14:36
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