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Redoubt blows its top
March 24, 2009 8:29 AM   Subscribe

After months of pre-eruptive activity, Alaska's Mount Redoubt has erupted 6 times since Sunday night. Telegraphing its eruption with massive shallow earthquake activity in the range of 26 earthquakes every 10 minutes, the volcano, located around 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, spewed an ash column 10km high, and is expected to continue erupting for weeks or months. The last time this massive volcano erupted in 1989 a commercial airliner was caught in the ash column, causing the engines to seize and the plane to lose two miles of altitude before the engines were restarted. That eruption, which lasted for 5 months, produced this spectacular photo. Follow this amazing event at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Affected local residents and airline industries are bracing for the impacts of a potentially long series of ashfalls, which can irritate skin, eyes, and breathing passages, as well as damage or disable vehicle engines.
posted by baphomet (35 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
ugh volcano monitoring good christ i hope the taxpayers aren't shelling out for this pointless waste
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2009 [30 favorites]


Here's a great satellite photo showing the path of the ashfall.
posted by baphomet at 8:35 AM on March 24, 2009


Let the hand of free magma decide.
posted by 2sheets at 8:37 AM on March 24, 2009


I wonder if they can see the eruption from Russia?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


In a global warming thread from early last year, dw twigged me to the fact that global warming may cause volcanoes.

This startled me as much as it probably does you. What on earth does the air temperature or CO2 level have to do with vulcanism? But read the link: it's possible that the reduced weight from melting ice, and subsequent "isostatic rebound" of the earth underneath, may allow trapped lava to reach the surface. The scientists used the metaphor of a shaken seltzer bottle, except full of magma.

You may, in other words, be seeing a lot more of these, mostly in far northern climes.

As dw put it:

In a sense, it's like a safety valve. If it gets too hot, the volcanoes spew ash, cast a pall over the Earth, and trigger an Ice Age.

And before you say that I'm being all "oh the volcanoes will save us," we're talking about rapid changes here. Like up 6F, down 9F within a century. Palm trees in Seattle in 2050, glaciers in Seattle in 2150. And Seattle buried in a Mount Rainier lahar in 2100.


I assume this particular eruption isn't related, but who knows?
posted by Malor at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


located around 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, spewed an ash column 10km high

Oh, that's devilish.
posted by orme at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2009


So now all becomes clear: Bobby Jindal was trying to take Sarah Palin out.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:46 AM on March 24, 2009 [17 favorites]


Please tell me he succeeded.
posted by orange swan at 8:56 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The rise of the Lava People has begun.
posted by bondcliff at 9:00 AM on March 24, 2009


So now all becomes clear: Bobby Jindal was trying to take Sarah Palin out.

No comment.
posted by homunculus at 9:07 AM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]




...the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. - Romans 8:22
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 9:16 AM on March 24, 2009


No comment.

No comment at all? Maybe his office could at least confirm who put the scare quotes in his speech's transcript:

"But Democratic leaders in Congress -- they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes {...} $140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.' Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C."

I bet that "volcano monitoring" has something to do with this "science" I hear eggheads are trying to teach our children in schools.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was stunned when Jindal made his speech. I mean, the news about Redoubt ("it's gonna blow soon") was already an above-the-fold item in all the major outlets at the time of the speech.

I mean ... political hacks are stupid, but this was new territory being explored...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:36 AM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was looking forward to a cool geology thread, but this Jindal pile-on is fun too.
posted by JeffK at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I read about that part of Jindal's speech after it happened, but I didn't really stop to think about it at the time. One can only be shocked by the stupidity of conservatives so many times in a day. I think I was at capacity that day. But now that I'm revisiting it, wow, that was stupid. The scare quotes in the transcript really drive it home. It would be one thing if he was arguing that it isn't a good use of taxpayer money. That would still be stupid, but at least it would be comprehensible. The scare quotes make it seem like he doesn't believe volcano monitoring is real, or he doesn't understand what it's for. I can't wrap my head around that.
posted by diogenes at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2009


If they named volcano awakenings the way they name hurricanes, I have a nomination ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:10 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The gods are angry. I'd suggest throwing in a Palin family virgin to appease them but I don't think there are any.
posted by tommasz at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2009 [8 favorites]


Bobby Jindal doesn't care about volcanoes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:35 AM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just thought I'd point out that you sisypheans are attempting to belittle conservatives with facts and common sense observations.

Sure it's fun and all, but just like playing World of Warcraft, you're not actually accomplishing anything. They've all got +3 Helms of Fantasticorum on.
posted by Aquaman at 10:37 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


but just like playing World of Warcraft, you're not actually accomplishing anything.

YOU TAKE THAT BACK! YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW!!!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:40 AM on March 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


The gods are angry. I'd suggest throwing in a Palin family virgin to appease them but I don't think there are any.

It's the effort that counts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2009


I'm convinced Jindal just wanted everyone to quit monitoring that one volcano right next to Palin's house. 2012 is going to be a bitch.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:10 AM on March 24, 2009


Sorry to have derailed JeffK. Honest, I never do that.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:11 AM on March 24, 2009


Damn, where's that volcano monitoring stimulus money when ya need it. Oh yeah, that's right, monitoring volcanoes to protect the public's safety isn't a 'real job'.
posted by jamstigator at 12:25 PM on March 24, 2009


Dude, isn't Jindal a governor? Of a state that's NOT Alaska? As in, it has nothing do with him?
posted by Eideteker at 12:28 PM on March 24, 2009


Yesterday I flew home from Orlando. The flight should have continued on to Anchorage, but while we were still at the Orlando gate the flight attendants came through the plane and "deplaned" all the passengers who would have continued on the final leg, so instead of a full flight to Anchorage connecting through Salt Lake City it became a half-full flight terminating in Salt Lake City.

The two guys who had been sitting right in front of me were fairly easygoing about it, even though one of them said they had called the airline every hour since the preceding evening to confirm their flight was still on, and right up until that last-minute "everyone who's continuing on to Anchorage has to get off" he was assured they were in fact going to make it home that day.

I felt bad for them for a minute, and then I took their row all to myself all the way home.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:41 PM on March 24, 2009


Eideteker- see here for why Jindal's name is relevant to the discussion. Less than a month ago he cited "$140 million for something called volcano monitoring" as an example of wasteful government spending, which was widely ridiculed because 1) the governor of the state still suffering from the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in US history calling out a program designed to avert natural disasters is laughable at best; 2) only about $16 million was flagged for volcano monitoring, the $140 million figure was the stimulus bill's appropriation for the USGS; 3) the US has more active or potentially active volcanoes than any other country in the world; and 4) Mount Redoubt was already showing pre-eruptive activity at the time his speech was given.
posted by baphomet at 1:49 PM on March 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, I'd just like to point out that mountains don't make a governor look like a complete asshole very often, so way to go Redoubt!
posted by baphomet at 2:33 PM on March 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


No, I know what's going on here. That was just my way of saying STFU Jindle.
posted by Eideteker at 10:00 PM on March 24, 2009


I can see Mt. Redoubt perfectly from my house (in fact, I live on Redoubt Ave.), and I can tell you, most of the people here have been like, "Oh, just fucking blow already," for the last two months. Then when it did finally blow, we didn't even get the excitement of an ash-covered lawn. The most drawn-out, anti-climactic volcanic eruption ever. We asked for drama. We asked for an excuse to wear face masks (I bought a sweet Hillary Clinton mask for the occasion two months ago), and the school children asked for an excuse to stay home. We got nothing.
posted by premiumpolar at 12:45 AM on March 25, 2009


Eideteker: Sorry, I misread you. In fact, I was surprised to think you weren't aware of that whole thing.

premiumpolar: Thanks for stopping by! I was hoping this thread would get a visit from somebody living in the vicinity. I can totally understand that it was a bit anticlimactic, but considering what you could have gotten, thank your lucky stars!
posted by baphomet at 5:03 AM on March 25, 2009


So, global warming can cause this stuff? Um, dare I speak the unspeakable?
posted by Goofyy at 9:48 AM on March 25, 2009


The Big Picture: Alaska's Mount Redoubt
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2009


I came here to post the same magnificent pictures that homunculus posted above. If I had a death wish I would totally go mountaineering on this bitch. Preferably after dropping acid.
posted by exogenous at 7:25 PM on April 6, 2009


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