It was a bit late (or the scientists were premature) but the Redoubt Volcano has finally begun erupting. (See my previous post for context.) You’ve probably heard the top news on this by now. Here are tidbits that might have been lost in the headlines.
- As of noon today (Tues, 3/24), there had been six eruptions. Tuesday has been calm, but the official alert level remains at “High.”
- Besides the ash plume, and steam plume, there have been lahar flows — mud and water. Some have reached all the way to Cook Inlet, 21 miles away. (But no damage so far at the Cook Inlet oil terminal, although workers were evacuated.)
- Some of these watery lahars have been 20-25 feet deep.
- A glacier has melted (causing the flooding).
- 24 hours before the first eruption, seismologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the alert level around the volcano, after swarms of earth tremors in the area. (So, yes there was some warning immediately before the explosion.)
Here’s a photo of one of the eruptions, on Monday March 23rd, 2009.