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Alaska’s Redoubt May Be About to Erupt

Posted by feww on February 1, 2009

Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

AVO Report on 2009-01-31  at 22:41:24 [Local Time]

Seismicity remained above background. No new episodes of tremor have been detected in the last two hours.

Oblique photo of Redoubt Volcano taken during an observation flight. Fumarolic activity on the north side of the volcano is associated with the most recent unrest at Redoubt Volcano. View from the south. Picture Date: January 30, 2009 AKST – Image Creator:  Kristi Wallace – Image courtesy of AVO/USGS

Observers from the gas/observation flight today report continued melting at the summit area. Holes in the ice continue to grow exposing more steaming rock. Volcanic gases continue to be detected. Web camera views are currently dark. EoR

A rapidly growing fumarole

Geologists detected a hole in the glacier covering the north side of the Mount Redoubt volcano on Friday. The hole doubled in size within hours, currently estimated at about several acres in size.

location-of-redoubt-volcanoLocation of Redoubt volcano, in relationship to surrounding towns, roads, and other volcanoes. Picture Date: September 26, 2008 – Image Creator:  Janet Schaefer. Image courtesy of the AVO/ADGGS.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory researchers flew close to Drift Glacier and observed  vigorous steam emitted from the hole.  They confirmed Saturday the hole was a fumarole which was rapidly growing larger.

Based on the report, an eruption could occur. Redoubt last erupted in 1990.

AVO has  been recording minor quakes, however,  the frequency of these quakes are lower than the seismic activity that  preceded the last two eruptions in 1989 and 1990.

“We’re looking for an increase of seismicity to match the precursor activity, [however,]  we haven’t seen that yet.” AVO research geologist Kristi Wallace said.

[Note: A fumarole  is an opening in Earth’s  crust, usually near volcanoes, which emits steam and gases including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid.]

FEWW Forecast: An area within approximately 300-km radius of Anchorage would be one of the seismic zones in Alaska to experience continued intense seismic activity this year possibly including a magnitude MW 7.9 or larger quake close to Anchorage  (south of the city, north of Rugged Island).

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