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Redoubt Update for 5/1/2009

The slow extrusion of a new dome continues on Redoubt, but we are getting some new insights into eruption processes in the Aleutians thanks to the activity.

Redoubt in April 2009 with Anchorage in the foreground (along with two F-22 Raptors). Image courtesy of Calvin Hall.

It has been quite some time since I talked about Redoubt, mostly because the volcano has been in the “slow extrusion of a dome” mode that has not generated much beyond impressive steam (with some ash) plumes. The volcano continues to stay at Orange/Watch status. I did glean a few interesting facts and speculations about the future at Redoubt from Dr. Jake Lowenstern of the USGS the other day, including:

  • The new dome growing on the volcano has more room to expand than the 1989-90 dome, so the potential of larger collapses might be possible.
  • Some of the lahars produced by the Redoubt explosions are ice-rock conglomerates, were a lot of the clasts are big chucks of glacial ice … so, when it gets warm, the evidence of those clasts will be gone (making life for future geologists fun). This sounds similar to the snow-matrix debris avalanche generated at Lassen Peak during its eruptions in the early 20th century.
  • Not surprisingly, the eruption/extrusion will likely go on for months.
  • In other Redoubt news, more oil has been removed from the Drift River Oil Terminal. Apparently the Cook Inlet oil fields are likely down for the count if oil production ceases for more than a month, so we might be seeing the end of oil production in Cook Inlet – luckily these oil wells are not highly productive (versus other parts of Alaska). Almost 93% of the oil stored at DROT has now been removed. The future of the Terminal continues to be in doubt.

    A special thanks to Calvin Hall for sending me more of the great Redoubt images (above and below) he has been taking since activity began.

    Redoubt as seen from Kasilof, April 2009. Image courtesy of Calvin Hall.


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