Largest eruption so far at Redoubt


Image courtesy of AVO/USGS, taken 3/23/09

I don't have many details, but the largest eruption so far in this eruptive stage at Redoubt occurred at 9:24 AM (Alaska Time), producing a 65,000 foot / 20,000 meter ash column! Yes, you read that right, a 20-km ash column! This is by far the largest ash column so far and AVO has returned Redoubt to Red/Warning status after this and a small explosion that occurred 30 minutes before the big one. Depending on the winds at various elevations, this sort of large ash column could threaten to coat Anchorage with ash - check the latest NOAA warnings here but currently there is an ashfall advisory for all the western Kenai Peninsula. This will likely also disrupt air traffic over southern Alaska.

I'll fill in more details here as they come in so check back for updates.

  • UPDATE 1PM Pacific: AVO notes that a new mudflow was produced in the Drift River valley from the AM eruption today. Also, areas to the east of Redoubt could expect up to 1/8" of ash from today's explosions.
  • UPDATE 2:15PM Pacific: A few more details in an AP story of today's eruption, mostly from the human interest side. Also, the Air Force is moving aircraft away from Elmendorf AFB near Redoubt.
  • UPDATE 6:15PM Pacific: Nice clear view of Redoubt on the Hut Webcam. You can see the strong steam plume and the valleys filled with new lahar deposits, along with the greyish ash on all the slopes. Even the Cook Inlet webcam gets some views of the volcano in the distant. Seismicity has gone down, but maybe we can catch an explosion while the skies are clear.

In the meantime, you can check the AVO Redoubt page or the webcams - Hut or Cook Inlet.

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Redoubt from Ninilchik, AK. Image courtesy of Calvin Hall. It has been a few days since we've talked about Redoubt. Well, it might be because the volcano has settled down for the past week, to the point that AVO put the volcano back to Orange/Watch status last week and hasn't had to go back to Red…
Photo courtesy of Calvin Hall. Taken from March 28, 2009, 50 miles from Redoubt. Redoubt continues to huff and puff, with an almost constant ash plume of ~15,000 feet / 5,000 meters. This after ~4 PM (Alaska Time), an explosion produced a 25,000 foot / 8,000 meter ash column that disrupted flights…
Image courtesy of AVO/USGS AVO has posted a series of images taken around Redoubt and around the Cook Inlet since the new eruptions started the night of March 22nd. You can begin to see the extent of the ash fall, what the explosions have done to the Drift Glacier and the new deposits in the Drift…

Erik ... thanks for all the updates ... one question, any more detailed info regarding flooding in Drift or Crescent rivers? I looked around on AVO and didn't see much, but maybe I missed it.

There are some pretty cool satellite images of the initial March 22/23 eruption at the NASA website

Also, the AVO has posted new pics of the lahar flooding around the drift river terminal. It astounds me that they allowed that to be built there! There have since been more lahars reported.

By Kirsten M (not verified) on 26 Mar 2009 #permalink

Hi Erik...Keep up all of good info flowing on the eruption as down here in NZ we are hearing very little, if anything at all about it. Your comments about infrastructure being built in areas of know volcanic hazard zones is really common and I am just finishing of my masters about Mt Tranaki/Egmont and the influence of a volcanic eruption on selected infrastructure. It seems that people have little foresight and do not really factor in the volcanic hazards. As the return period is reasonably low for a volcanic eruption they think that insurance will cover it, what they need to consider is the inderpendance risks downstream and any environmental risks associated with it. I would be interested to hear of any reports regarding the loss of electricity due to ash impacts during this eruption.
Regards
Ian

By Ian Chapman (not verified) on 26 Mar 2009 #permalink

I made a video of the eruptions with footage from the Hut webcam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YCA4aYsxis

Footage is from the official Hut webcam. Playing speed is 80x realtime, sound is obtained from converted digital seismic traces of REF, RDN, RDT, DFR, NCT seismic stations. Lahars, pyroclastic flows and steaming from heated snow can be seen. Towards the end of this video (about minute 3:40) weather conditions start to clear up and the summit of the volcano becomes partially visible, revealing a column of gray ash.

Sound from RDN and REF stations has been denoised.
For audio spatiality, each station (channel) has been placed respectively, from the left to the right, in this order: NCT, RDN, DFR, REF, RDT. This partially reproduces their actual physical location.

By SHIRAKAWA Akira (not verified) on 26 Mar 2009 #permalink

Sorry for the typos :)

By SHIRAKAWA Akira (not verified) on 26 Mar 2009 #permalink

For another interesting view of the eruption, check out this blog (http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog/?m=200903).

The bloggers, Hig and Erin, live in a yurt downwind from Redoubt, and made a time-lapse movie of the ash moving into their Seldovia neighborhood.

By Matthew von der Ahe (not verified) on 27 Mar 2009 #permalink

Footage is from the official Hut webcam. Playing speed is 80x realtime, sound is obtained from converted digital seismic traces of REF, RDN, RDT, DFR, NCT seismic stations. Lahars, pyroclastic flows and steaming from heated snow can be seen. Towards the end of this video (about minute 3:40) weather conditions start to clear up and the summit of the volcano becomes partially visible, revealing a column of gray ash.

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