Redoubt (above) is definitely taking its time. After catching everyone’s attention last week with seismic activity, melting of its snow cap and increased gas emissions, the volcano is still, well, doing all those things, but not erupting. AVO’s update are beginning to sound like a broken record:
“(2/3/09 04:10) Unrest at Redoubt Volcano is continuing with elevated seismicity well above background levels. The volcano has not erupted. A gas/observation overflight yesterday reported continued changes in the summit glaciers indicative of heating of the summit area. Photos from both the overflight and the hut webcam showed a small vapor plume at the summit. The web camera is now dark as our long winter night continues.”
It is amusing to catch a bit of snarkiness from the AVO staff at the end of the update but hey, if I was up posting at 4 in the morning, maybe I’d throw that in as well.
You can get an idea of what life might be like at the Alaska Volcano Observatory from this article on CNN. They talk to USGS volcanologist (and fellow Williams College alum) Michelle Coombs who says that Redoubt is still predicted to erupt in the next days-to-weeks timeframe. However, this whole drama with Redoubt shows the challenges of predicting volcanic behavior: we can have these volcanoes wired and watched 24/7, yet when exactly it will erupt is still anyone’s guess. We still have a lot to learn about how magmatic systems behave and how that translates into eruptions, which is part of the reason why it is so exciting to study them!
With that, the wait continues.