Eruptions

I am surprised as anyone how the public has become captivated by this geologic drama unfolding at Redoubt. Headlines about the volcano are popping up everywhere from CNN to the MSNBC to Slashdot to Popular Science – yes, even the nerds are enthralled, which might be the reason that the AVO servers are overloaded today (and that Eruptions has set new records in visits each day for the last 4 days). The stories are pretty typical: everyone is preparing/panicking, the volcano might have a giant eruption, and so on. This is rapidly becoming the most eagerly anticipated (is that the right word?) eruption in the US in the last 20 years. However, even with all this attention, there is little change in the status at Redoubt: AVO says that the volcano is likely to erupt in the next “days to weeks” with all the telltale signs there: increased seismicity, increased gas emissions, evidence of increased heat near the vent.

The very latest (2009-01-30 07:57:51) from AVO is

“Seismicity at Redoubt is varying in intensity but is still well above background. We have seen higher amplitude seismicity for the past several hours but appears to be subsiding a bit at this time.” 

So, the wait goes on. I wonder who will get the first interview when the volcano (see above photo, thanks to Brandon Browne at Cal State Fullerton) decided to erupt (if it does erupt at all).

UPDATE 14:20 PM Pacific 1/30/2009: AVO is reporting

“Seismicity at Redoubt has increased markedly over the last 20 minutes. Clear webcam views and pilot reports indicate that the volcano has not yet erupted.”

Sounds like they could be thinking we’re entering the final phase. Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. #1 Hawkeye
    January 30, 2009

    Yes, volcanic eruptions are cool to watch, but the attention being given to Redoubt is more than I expected. Redoubt isn’t exactly a Katmai twin. It’s not even in the same league as St Helens. I wonder how many of the hits currently overloading the AVO site are coming from people who are expecting an eruption much larger than Redoubt is capable of.

  2. #2 doug
    January 30, 2009

    I think it’s partly Palin effect, last year when Okmok and Kasotochi were erupting, not that much national news. But since last Fall, anything happening in Alaska has received national attention.

  3. #3 Ron Schott
    January 30, 2009

    It’s my fault – I Twittered it (http://twitter.com/rschott/status/1148034204 and http://twitter.com/rschott/status/1157269545). ;-)

    A couple other things that make this potential eruption more interesting to the masses are the fact that Redoubt has a well documented historical eruption, its proximity to Anchorage, the availability of multiple webicorders and webcams providing live (or nearly live) data, and the compelling story of the 747 that encountered the 1990 eruption. I know I’ve been promoting it hard to all of my geology classes – it’s a great learning opportunity. There’s really nothing as exciting as watching something with potentially historical ramifications (even if only a remote chance of that) as it develops. It’s like watching a great sporting event as it unfolds.

  4. #4 Erik Klemetti
    January 30, 2009

    And for those of you who twitter (sorry, I’m not one of them), AVO now has a twitter feed for their brief updates on the activity at Redoubt.

    http://twitter.com/alaska_avo

  5. #5 fbj
    January 30, 2009

    Even swedes are getting excited or fearful…

    http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article4300080.ab

  6. #6 gg
    January 30, 2009

    It is partly the Palin effect. Part comes from greater interest in all things geological for people living along the west coast. Earthquake preparedness and education has ramped up in recent years. Oh, look, Seattle had one today. People living there are well aware of the Ring of Fire, and subduction issues. Part of this stems from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami…we’re keenly interested in natural disasters. And finally, in time of economic distress, isn’t it comforting to have a real disaster that is not caused by man? It makes all the financial troubles of the day seem trivial, don’t you think?

  7. #7 Simon
    January 30, 2009

    Latest update.

    2009-01-30 14:35:54
    Intense seismicity continues at Redoubt this afternoon. Clear webcam views, satellite, and radar data from earlier today indicate that the volcano has not yet erupted.

    Clouds have moved in to obscure the webcam view over the last hour.

    An AVO observation flight returned in the last hour and reports no sign of ash emission, but observed significant steaming from a new melt depression at the mouth of the summit crater near the vent area of the 1989-90 eruption.

  8. #8 Kerry
    January 30, 2009

    Why are the temps at the webcam so warm compared to Anchorage?
    What does the sudden cessation of seismic activity portend?

  9. #9 Eli Mccallough
    November 20, 2010

    likes to test a psychic’s ability with a knock-knock joke. If they say “Who’s there?”, I get the hell out of there.

  10. #10 VeronicaCG69
    November 22, 2010

    My x-boyfriend thinks your blog is lame.he is so wrong.;)

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