Redoubt from space

The NASA Earth Observatory website posted this great image of Redoubt taken from Landsat images in 2000.

You can see a few neat things. The main thing I notice is that the Drift River Oil Terminal is in about the worst place you could put an oil terminal near a volcano like Redoubt. All the material from recent eruptions at Redoubt get focused down into the Drift River, which then heads off into the Cook Inlet via the Drift River flood plain (upper right hand side of the image). When this image was taken, the Drift River is still grey with volcanigenic material even 10 years after the last activity, showing that most of the material is mobilized in that direction. It still amazes me that the oil terminal was ever allowed to be built in that location.

As for the current state of things at Redoubt, AVO reports that the seismicity is still going and things remain much the same as it has been for the past few weeks. Officials on the Kenai Peninsula are assuring residents that they’re ready for an eruption. At this pace, they might have months to prepare!


  1. #1 Chris Rowan
    February 11, 2009

    It still amazes me that the oil terminal was ever allowed to be built in that location.

    Humanity has a talent for building things in geologically unwise places (Instanbul, Naples, Wellington…); but in this case I’d rather cynically opine that either (a) no-one bothered to ask a volcanologist or (b) they ignored them when they gave an unpopular answer.

  2. #2 gg
    February 11, 2009

    A picture tells a thousand words:

    So, for those doubters who responded to your last post about this issue, I say, look at the lahars. Look at the oil tanks. Do you still think there’s no danger?

  3. #3 gg
    February 11, 2009

    A little-known fact from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta:

  4. #4 doug
    February 11, 2009

    another grim scenario for the terminal would be if a north facing slope failure actually damed the drift river with a combination of the piedmont glacier bits overlain by lahar material. This would not be a stable situation and the lake formed behind this dam would represent a sizable threat to the terminal

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