The Alaskan Redoubt Volcano has roared to life (Google News) with a series of eruptions. Ash has been detected at 60,000 feet, the National Weather Service in Alaska has reported.
The Redoubt Volcano has sparked earthquake swarms and mudflows, with more expected, according to Tina Neal, a volcanologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage, which monitors the 10,200-foot (3,100-meter) volcano. Redoubt began erupting Sunday night, with the first explosion coming at 10:38 p.m., followed by another at 11:02 p.m., a third at 12:14 a.m. and a fourth at 1:39 a.m., the AVO reported.
For Google Earth users (kmz), AVO provides an interface to the past 30 days of seismic activity at Alaska volcanoes. Seismic activity is monitored in real time at 30 volcanoes in Alaska.
The eruption could continue for days, weeks, or possibly months, Neal said.
Seismometers such as this one installed near Mount Spurr volcano provide the Alaska Volcano Observatory with a continuous, radio-telemetered record of volcanic earthquakes. Generally, a network of six to eight seismometers are positioned around a volcano. Readings from each seismometer are continuously radioed to a central recording site where scientists determine the locations, sizes, numbers, and types of earthquakes.
In related news, the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, will have its first region-wide tsunami warning test on April 2nd, 2009.
NOAA’s Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, will commence the exercise by issuing a test bulletin through tsunami warning communication channels. The test bulletin, clearly marked “test message”, will prompt local officials to implement their tsunami response plans.
Mount Redoubt is one of more than 30 active volcanoes in Alaska, located about 110 miles southwest of Anchorage. The Redoubt volcano is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the most volcanically and seismically active regions in the world.
The National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) is a proposed national-scale effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program and its affiliated partners in the Consortium of U.S. Volcano Observatories (CUSVO) to ensure that volcanoes are monitored at a level commensurate with the threats they pose. Roughly half of the 169 young volcanoes in the United States are dangerous because of the manner in which they erupt and the communities and infrastructure within their destructive reach.
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