Cape Tanak, Umnak Island

On Saturday, July 12, 2008, Okmok Caldera on Umnak Island in the Eastern Aleutians, exploded without warning, sending a plume of ash to 50,000 feet (15,000 m) into the air. A crater lake drained through a notch eroded in the northeast rim and the resulting flood transported tremendous volumes of sediment down the slope of the volcano to the sea at Cape Tanak. The remains of a fishing boat are partially buried on the beach at the mouth of the unnamed river that drained the caldera lake. Seasonal storms in the Bering Sea repeatedly expose and bury this wreck so that every year different parts of the ship are visible. Cape Tanak was once the site of an Aleut village that was destroyed by an eruption in 1817 while its inhabitants were hunting in the Pribilof Islands. The villagers relocated to the present site of Nikolski at the opposite end of Umnak Island. Learn more about historical Okmok eruptions here and about Umnak Island here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the shoreline of Umnak Island.