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Redoubt video, podcast 25 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, eruptions, Redoubt, United States, volcano monitoring.
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Some of the news conference given by Alaska Volcano Observatory personnel on 23 March 2009, as the eruption was ongoing, is available at YouTube. The video is a real mess that includes an excerpt from the news conference, clips of news coverage of the eruption, the 15 March AVO video of Redoubt set to some truly dreadful music, and spectacular but quite irrelevant film of the Tongan eruption from earlier this month. If anyone knows of a better video of the AVO news conference I would like to hear about it.

The US Department of the Interior has released a podcast featuring Interior Secretary Ken Salazar talking about the Redoubt eruption (Department of the Interior podcasts page here, or direct link to the mp3 file here). Mr Salazar has some fine words on the value of volcano monitoring.

Source for the above: Geology.com News.

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

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


1. Ton van der Aa - 25 March 2009

Hey nice coverage , looks like you are always the first with all the information people are looking for.
Yesterday and today i looked at redoubt trough google earth looks like today the put up a new overlay on redoubt which must be very recent cause it looks like the pictures put up here in the past weeks with cracks in the snow and some black ash on the snow.
But hey damn redoubt why erupt in the dark and why the guys in the chopper didn,t put the camera a little higher to the summit

2. Karen - 25 March 2009

Don’t know if this will help you or not but here’s a link to KTUU channel 2 in Alaska. They had some video of the 3/23 3am news conference along with some other coverage.


Love this site! Keep up the good work…

3. Ross - 25 March 2009

Just check the webicorders and it looks like another eruption has just occurred.

4. volcanism - 25 March 2009

Yes, looks like an event from about 04:42 local time (particularly clear on the REF trace). It’s tailed away again but there is still marked tremor.

Thanks for that link, Karen, and thanks to you and Ton for the kind words on the blog!

5. SHIRAKAWA Akira - 25 March 2009

Official update:
“2009-03-25 05:53:13 – VAN/VONA
A small explosion occurred at Redoubt volcano at 05:12 AKDT (1312 UTC). The cloud height is estimated to be about 15,000 ft and is drifting north to northwest of the volcano. The event lasted about 10 minutes.”

I made a wave file of the event (sped up to 80x speed, audio obtained from REF seismic trace). No video since webcams are filming darkness at the moment:


6. Brad - 25 March 2009

Thanks from the Heartland as well. Being from Western Kansas, I find your coverage outstanding as our news rarely mentions this. Maybe you could help some of us with a Geology 101 refresher…..

How substantial of an event is this? Certainly if this volcano has expelled ash up to 60K feet, it has some strength, but what size of an explosion/eruption would it take to expect wide scale effect on weather and environment?

I will now apologize for sleeping through GeoMorph and skipping most of the Plate Tect classes :)

7. SHIRAKAWA Akira - 25 March 2009

Regarding my past message, I thought it would be more accessible a video from youtube instead of a downloadable file, so here it is:

(picture not related to this explosion/eruption)

8. Dan - 25 March 2009

Brad, Dr. Masters over at weatherunderground.com has a new post about Redoubt. Redoubt’s eruptions shoot only about 1/100 the amount of sulfur into the atmosphere that Pinatubo. Also, in 89/90 Redoubt only erupted 0.1-0.2 cubic km of material… and this eruption should be similar. Redoubt is just a garden-variety strato-volcano… interesting, but insignificant.

9. volcanism - 25 March 2009

Thanks are due yet again to Akira Shirakawa for his excellent work! And the event was indeed 05:12 AKDT – I got my lines mixed up.

Brad: thank you! In global terms the current eruption (which is still ongoing of course, and we don’t know how long it will last) isn’t that large an event. It’s early to say, but I suppose it is 3 or possibly 4 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. I’d have thought it would take a much larger event to have a significant, lasting impact on the environment … but I’d welcome input from others with more expertise.

10. Boris Behncke - 25 March 2009

I can confirm that to see global effects you would need certainly a fairly large explosive eruption. However, what seems to be more important than the simple size (pyroclastic volume, eruption cloud height …) of an eruption is how much sulfur dioxide it expels. SO2-rich eruptions need not be extraordinarily big to produce an appreciable (though commonly rather small) climatic effect. Agung in Bali (1963) and Fuego in Guatemala (1974) were VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) 3-4 eruptions and thus similar to the current one at Redoubt, and they were followed by colorful sunsets and very minor flexures in global temperature. So we will have to see how much SO2 is produced by Redoubt – although I don’t recall to have heard anything about notable climatic effects of the 1989-1990 eruption, which was probably about the same size as this one.
One bit of news that has so far escaped from attention and has not been mentioned (as far as I am aware) in the AVO updates is that apparently yesterday a lava dome started growing in Redoubt’s crater; this news was reported by KTUU (http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=10066164) today morning.
The full KTUU video of the AVO press conference (given by John Power) on early Monday 23 March is here:

11. volcanism - 25 March 2009

Many thanks for those insights, Boris. The SO2 issue is clearly an important one, and we’ll have to wait for the figures on that. The Aleutian volcano Kasatochi produced a large SO2 cloud back last August.

Thanks for the KTUU links. To be fair, commenter Brian Owens picked up the lava dome point from a Seattle Times report yesterday, and drew attention to it here:


I missed the significance at the time…

12. Boris Behncke - 25 March 2009

so did I … must say I got back to the internet this morning and first looked at KTUU where I found the lava dome bit. Sorry to Brian Owens for overlooking his breaking news on the dome :-)

13. SHIRAKAWA Akira - 25 March 2009

Did another small eruption occur at 10:17 local time?

14. Boris Behncke - 25 March 2009

Akira it looks quite like it – similar to the previous one. By the way, thanks for your awesome conversion of the seismic signals into noise — sounds like our Mount Etna when it makes lava fountains

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