Mt. Redoubt’s March 26, eruption plume as seen from space. The Plume was estimated at 65,000 ft.
Photo: Alaska Volcano Observatory”]Image courtesy of the National Weather Service Image Creator: Dehn, Jonathan
Image courtesy of the National Weather Service Image Creator: Dehn, Jonathan[More on Image above: Ash cloud seen in the geostationary MTSAT data, courtesy of the National Weather Service. We are at the extreme edge of the view for the satellite which is over the equator in Asia. Image Date: March 26, 2009 17:30:00 UTC


Mt. Redoubt’s continued eruptions have many in the region on alert. Ash from the volcano has dusted communities surrounding the volcano and Seismic signals have been indicating “discrete earthquakes” since the latest large eruption began at roughly 09:24 AKDT (17:24 UTC).

Environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the condition of a near-by Chevron oil storage facility. Chevron was at first reluctant to divulge the volume of oil held in the facility’s tanks but after pressure from concerned parties the company announced that over 6 million gallons of oil remained in the tanks according to Environment News Service. The latest information regarding the most recent eruption:

A large eruption of the Mt. Redoubt volcano occurred at 9:24 this morning local time, shooting a plume of ash and gas 65,000 feet into the air, according to National Weather Service reports and the observations of aircraft pilots.

The eruption sent a mudflow down the Drift River valley that was detected by seismic instruments at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

An evacuated Chevron oil storage facility containing six million gallons of Cook Inlet crude is situated near the mouth of the Drift River where it empties into Cook Inlet. Official reports have not clarified whether or not the Drift River oil storage facility has sustained any damage.

Mt. Redoubt is still at Aviation Color Code – RED
Volcano Alert Level is at ” WARNING”

Photo: LA Times ~ Mt. Redoubt
Photo: LA Times ~ Mt. Redoubt

[About the Image: The enormous plume was drifting to the north over an expansive wilderness parcel and so far only the small town of Skwentna, 100 miles north of Redoubt, had reported experiencing ash fall, mixed with snow.]

Image:Photographer James Isaak
Image:Photographer James Isaak

[About the Image: Photograph of ash fall at Homestead Lodge, about 35 miles south of Redoubt, on the western side of Cook Inlet. View is of the backyard, with ash.]


[About the video: Footage of Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano taken by Kristi Wallace (USGS / AVO) Monday, March 23, 2009 is available. This footage was shot via aerial observations during helicopter supported field work at the volcano. Produced by: Kristi Wallace (USGS / AVO) Run Time: 14 minute 33 seconds ]

The Louisiana Governor’s Open mouth and insert “Soot” moment

It would appear that Mother Nature is teaching, one supposedly, “raising star” Republican a valuable lesson. Don’t talk about subjects you know nothing about, and if you do, you shouldn’t do it while the Nation watching. But most importantly, you should verify the program or “the waste” you are criticizing for political gain isn’t currently monitoring an active volcano, as with the USGS and Mt.Redoubt. 

You may remember, a few weeks ago during Louisiana Gov. Bobby” Jindal’s, State of the Union Response , he mocked a portion of the stimulus bill that would provide funding for “volcano monitoring”. Thank goodness for the communities that live near and around active volcanoes more knowledgeable politicos are calling the shots. Jindal said:

While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a “magnetic levitation” line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called “volcano monitoring.”  Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC. 

Reaction to Jindal’s ridiculous dismissal of science came swiftly, one critic, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) had very good reason to speak-out against Jindal’s uninformed opinion. As most fifth graders know the USGS is responsible for monitoring several active volcanoes across the U.S., the latest one being Mt.Redoubt which has since erupted multiple times. In response to Jindal’s brainy-ache remark, CNN quoted Marianne Guffanti, a USGS, volcano researcher as saying,  “We don’t throw the money down the crater of the volcano and watch it burn up.” 

It should be noted the $140 million earmarked for the USGS was not only for “monitoring”, but  it would also provide for the replacement of decades old, aging equipment “and other critical deferred maintenance and improvement projects”. The Alaskan Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands are home to about “80 major volcanic centers” that consist of “one or more volcanoes”.

During Jindal’s speech he referred to himself as a “pre-existing condition”. The troubling aspect of that statement is when it comes to the funding of anything relating to science it seems the GOP has a “pre-existing condition” of ignorance.