Inlet volcano keeps geologists on alert

January 29, 2009 

Mount Redoubt is still rumbling and simmering, prompting geologists to repeat their warning that an eruption may be imminent.

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory have been monitoring activity round-the-clock since the weekend.

Today the observatory said: "Seismicity remains above background and largely unchanged with several volcanic earthquakes occurring every hour."

The last time the 10,197-foot peak blew was during a five-month stretch starting in December 1989. It disrupted international air traffic and placed a layer of volcanic dust throughout the Anchorage area.

Volcanoes in Alaska, including Redoubt, typically erupt explosively, shooting ash almost eight miles high. Volcanic ash features small, jagged pieces of rock and glass.

This differs from volcanoes in Hawaii, which usually have slow rolling lava ooze out.

The difference is gas trying to escape gets blocked, possibly by a lava dome or a viscous magma that increases the power from beneath, said observatory geologist Jennifer Adleman.

"Its pressure keeps building and building," she said.

Depending on wind, the ash plume could be pushed straight at Anchorage, the state's largest city. This has prompted state and city officials to post bulletins on how to deal with the ash. Tips include staying inside, wearing a mask or wet bandanna if going outside and wearing goggles over contact lenses.

On Wednesday, the American Red Cross of Alaska posted information on its own Web site advising Alaskans on precautionary steps to take prior to a volcanic eruption, including the creation of a family disaster plan and assembling a disaster supply kit.

The Anchorage Daily News contributed to this story.

------

On the Net:

http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service