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The news from Redoubt … no news 4 February 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, Redoubt, United States, volcano monitoring.
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Seismicity, but little activity, sums up Redoubt’s current behaviour. From the latest Alaska Volcano Observatory report:

2009-02-04 06:14:40

Seismic activity continues at Redoubt at an elevated level.

The weather may close in later today possibly obscuring web cam views for a few days.

AVO continues to monitor the volcano 24 hours a day.

Compared to this, the preceding statements today have been positively verbose: ‘Elevated seismic activity continues at levels similar to those of the last few days’ (2009-02-04 04:04:48), ‘Seismic activity at Redoubt remains elevated but at a fairly constant level’ (2009-02-04 02:05:13), ‘Unrest at Redoubt Volcano continues. Seismic activity remains elevated above background and has been fairly stable all day’ (2009-02-04 00:03:35).

Alongside their constant watch on the volcano, the AVO has also been working to improve their monitoring and forecasting capabilities. They have announced that the seismic network was upgraded yesterday with the installation of two new seismic stations.

The new U.S. Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, has taken time to praise the AVO’s staff for their work monitoring Redoubt, says a Department of the Interior news release:

‘The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a prime example of how science can help save lives and protect property’, said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. ‘It also represents a model federal-state-university partnership through which our scientists and monitoring systems help the public prepare for natural disasters. This is an important reminder of the importance of investing in science and of the value of the scientific work the Department of Interior does, day in and day out’.

In other news from Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch calls Redoubt ‘the volcano that won’t blow’ and an AP release on KTUU reports ‘no significant changes’ at the volcano. National Geographic News has fuller details on the latest information from the AVO’s daily press conferences:

Surrounding ice is melting rapidly, and the gases have now been confirmed to include carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide—adding to evidence that a magma chamber is creeping upward … [AVO geologists] are now convinced new magma from deep in the Earth has entered the system.

So, despite the apparent inactivity during this period of waiting, the signals that can presage an eruption are still very much there: temperature increases, gas emissions and elevated seismicity. The orange aviation alert level and watch colour code, and the Alaska Volcano Observatory forecast of an eruption ‘within days or weeks’, remain valid, and there is no room for complacency. National Geographic News quotes AVO geologist Kristi Wallace on Mount Redoubt: ‘It’s always possible it could erupt at any time’.

For all our Redoubt coverage: Redoubt « The Volcanism Blog.

Alaska volcano photo – hole now football field sizeNational Geographic News, 3 February 2009
No significant changes for Mount Redoubt – KTUU, 3 February 2009
Redoubt: the volcano that won’t blowAlaska Dispatch, 4 February 2009

Global Volcanism Program: Redoubt – summary information for Redoubt (1103-03-)
Alaska Volcano Observatory – Redoubt – AVO information and updates for Redoubt
Alaska Volcano Observatory – main page for the AVO

The Volcanism Blog