Redoubt Update for 5/1/2009


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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I didn't realize one could actually see Redoubt from Anchorage. I plan to be in Anchorage in early July; can anyone recommend a viewpoint where Redoubt can be seen on a clear day?

Partially related: I made a timelapse video of the growth (extrusion) and change over two weeks of time of the lava dome on the summit of Redoubt Volcano with footage from the Hut webcam. It turned out pretty good! HD (high resolution) version available too:

By SHIRAKAWA Akira (not verified) on 01 May 2009 #permalink

like everywhere, what you can actually see depends on the weather. We were up there last July and were only able to see it the last day. Regular visitors and residents of course can tell you if that's typical for that time of year.
In any case we were on the Seward Highway just south of Anchorage at Potter Marsh and closer to town at Kincaid Park I believe,

I was checking some images; I guess it would be impossible to see Augustine Island from Anchorage, but it certainly is possible to see Mount Spurr, which erupted in June-September 1992.

This picture is a pretty good demonstration of that.

Mt. Spurr from Anchorage

Yes I know the weather is usually cloudy but in case there's a clear day while I'm there I'd like to find out where best to see it. Perhaps a mountaintop viewpoint just outside of town?

Just checked AVO and they are saying seismicity has pick up drastically in the past 24 hours with almost continuous volcanic tremor, more rockfalls and in the past couple hours the steam plume has increased to 18,000 ft. Hopefully the weather stays clear and maybe a dome collapse will occur.

Thanks Roachman!