Redoubt – an introduction

Redoubt Volcano is a 10,200 foot (3,100 m) stratovolcano that sits around 110 mi (175 km) southwest from Anchorage. It is visible from South Anchorage. Closest inhabited towns to Redoubt are the Kenai – Soldotna – Nikiski area surrounding the mouth of the Kenai River, some 50 mi (80 km) east of the mountain across Cook Inlet. It is fully instrumented with webicorders and multiple webcams. They can all be accessed via the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) portal on Redoubt.

The mountain is steep, constructed of a combination of pyroclastic flows and lava. It is mantled in glaciers, making lahars a significant problem during eruptions. The crater on top of the mountain measures just over a mile (2 km) in diameter and is breached on the north side by a glacier.

Redoubt is a subduction volcano, with the Pacific Plate sitting around 100 km underneath the North American Plate directly under the volcano. Direction of the photo above is roughly North on top and South on Bottom. The trench roughly cuts through the lower quarter of the ocean part of the photo.

There is an oil shipping facility complete with tank farm called the Drift River Terminal which sits about 25 mi (40 km) north of Redoubt in the floodplain of the Drift River. It is a short-term oil storage facility that holds oil from the Kenai and Cook Inlet oil wells prior to shipment out of Alaska. This terminal was breached by lahars off Redoubt during the 1990 and 2009 eruptions and may or may not be in the process of being closed and cleaned up. There have been at least a couple of headaches over its future since 2009. It was built in 1968 and its location was mostly driven by the ability to moor a large draft tanker close to the shoreline. This took precedence to the threat of lahars down the Drift River. Cook Inlet supports an extensive oil and natural gas operation complete with pipelines, pumps, platforms, storage and refining.

Kenai dip netting, with Redoubt in the background.

Kenai dip netting, with Redoubt in the background.

East of Redoubt sits the Kenai River, which is one of the great salmon rivers in Alaska and gets heavy fishing pressure during the summer. The Kenai – Soldotna – Nikiski area also hosts a commercial fishing fleet of a couple thousand boats which chase salmon during the summer. There are also a significant guided fishing industry on the Kenai and in Cook Inlet itself targeting mainly salmon in the river and halibut in the Inlet. Anchorage sits near the top of Cook Inlet and is the largest port in the state (both air and sea), serving nearly half the population of Alaska. Any extended disruption of traffic into and out of Anchorage will quickly be a problem. There is also a significant population of belugas, killer whales and sea lions in Cook Inlet that chase one another and the salmon during the summer. Some of the grizzled old commercial fishermen (which are few and far between, as it is a young man’s sport), have claimed that volcanic dusting of the Inlet improves the salmon fishing. So far, I can neither support or refute that claim.

The Redoubt Volcano can be traced back as long as 880,000 years ago when pyroclastic, dome building and lahar activity started near the location of the current vent. Two cone-building phases centered around 300,000 years ago and from 185,000 years to present are observed. There are at over 50 eruptions suspected over the last 10,000 years, with five of them since 1700. Captain Cook observed the mountain steaming when he first explored this part of Alaska in 1778.

Redoubt has erupted at least four times since 1902, with the 2009 eruption being the most recent. AVO classes the eruptions no larger than VEI 3. Eruptions are characterized by dome building, dome collapse, pyroclastic flows, ash and tephra deposits, and multiple significant lahars. Eruptions appear to be characterized by short, vigorous blasts followed by extended periods of quiet at which time dome building common. There is also evidence of flank collapse which would open the possibility for a lateral blast, though none have been noted in the last century.

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Chris Waythomas, Feb. 27, 2009,

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Chris Waythomas, Feb. 27, 2009,

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Heather Bleick, March 15, 2009,

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Heather Bleick, March 15, 2009,

Redoubt announced the 2009 eruption with an increase in seismic activity in Sept. 2008. A month later, new fumaroles and ice collapse holes were observed on the summit crater. The first phreatic explosion was March 15, 2009. The first magmatic explosion was on March 22.

Image courtesy Tricia Joy Sadler, March 28, 2009,

Image courtesy Tricia Joy Sadler, March 28, 2009,

Image courtesy Tricia Joy Sadler, March 28, 2009,

Image courtesy Tricia Joy Sadler, March 28, 2009,

During the next two weeks, there were 19 major explosions which sent ash as high as 19 km into the atmosphere. The explosive phase ended April 4, and Redoubt entered into an effusive phase that built the final dome for this sequence of eruptions. A photo of the dome follows.

Image courtesy AVO/USGS, Game McGimsey, Nov. 2, 2009,

Image courtesy AVO/USGS, Game McGimsey, Nov. 2, 2009,

The largest debris flow off Redoubt is dated some 3,500 years ago. It traveled all the way to Cook Inlet down the Crescent River valley to the south of the volcano. It was also accompanied by blocky debris remindful of what was observed following the flank collapse of Mount St. Helens, leading volcanologists to speculate that flank collapses and perhaps lateral blasts are also part of the arsenal of this mountain. There are 4 – 6 major debris flows down the Drift River dated the last 200 – 400 years which would have been concurrent with eruptions.

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Chris Wayhome, April 4, 2009,

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Chris Wayhome, April 4, 2009,

There was a pair of major lahars with runups to 40 feet (13 m) that inundated the Drift River Terminal on March 23 and April 4, 2009. There were three smaller lahars on successive days between those two.

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Game McGimsey,

Photo courtesy AVO/USGS, Game McGimsey,

I was caught out driving home to Anchorage during the ashfall that shut down the airport. Changed oil and filters and the truck seems happy so far. Volcanic ash is nasty stuff that gets in everything, though it does seem to keep the slugs away from local gardens so the gardeners tend to like it in small quantities. Primary eruption product was andesite.

One other localism about volcanic ash of interest is that the 2009 eruption took place toward the end of winter. At that time, there is significant outdoor activity on the snow including but not limited to cross country and downhill skiing, dog mushing, snow machining, and snow bikes. Due to the lack of roads up here, there is significant light aircraft traffic on skis. When the ash is on the surface of the snow, skis of all sorts don’t slide that well, hindering the ability to take off at all or to land safely. The pilots wait a while until the dark ash melts below the surface of the snow in order to operate off a dusted snowy surface. Ash also does an unpleasant number trashing the sliding surface of downhill and cross country skis.

The Crew of KL 867 inspecting the damage of their Boeing 747-406M (Registration PH-BFC) which encountered the ash cloud from Mt Redoubt in Alaska in December 1989

The Crew of KL 867 inspecting the damage of their Boeing 747-406M (Registration PH-BFC) which encountered the ash cloud from Mt Redoubt in Alaska in December 1989

The 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt was one of the eruptions that every learned something – a lot of it painful, some not. It was the first eruption (claimed to have been) predicted by AVO as they analyzed seismographs of earthquake activity. It was the eruption that demonstrated the need for a monitoring – reporting activity for volcanic ash clouds as a 747-400 encountered a Redoubt ash cloud some 175 mi (280 km) NNW of Redoubt and shut down all four engines for a bit. They lost 10,000 ft (3,300 m) before a successful restart and divert into Anchorage. Damage to the aircraft was in excess of $80 million including all four engines being replaced. They also found that volcanic ash goes a long ways with a pair of aircraft encountering Redoubt ash near El Paso, Texas on Dec. 17, 1989. It took the ash 33 – 55 hours to make it that far south. The 1989 – 1990 eruption also was the first demonstration to Chevron that they had a problem with the placement of the Drift River Terminal as lahars came very close to overtopping levees built around oil storage tanks there.

Activity in this set of eruptions started with steaming crater in late November 1989. There was about a 24-hour period of intense seismic activity before the first explosion on Dec. 14. Explosions continued through the end of April 1990 with plume heights estimated between 8 – 12 km. Individual blasts destroyed a series of domes built between blasts. In the end, the dome remained. The eruption also sent a number of lahars down the Drift River, inundating an airstrip at the Terminal.

The 1989 – 1990 eruption was responsible for the photo that was modified into the seal of the AVO. The photo was taken across Cook Inlet from Redoubt.

Historic eruption summaries are also interesting.
The series eruptions between 1965 – 1968 was an extended one, but behaved much the same as the 1989 and 2009 eruptions – short vigorous blasts punctuating dome building. A seismic survey team for the future Drift River Terminal was trapped by a lahar and had to be airlifted out. Hindsight (the only exact science) would lead one to question the location of the Terminal based on having to evacuate a survey crew.

The largest debris flow off Redoubt is dated some 3,500 years ago. It traveled all the way to Cook Inlet down the Crescent River valley to the south of the volcano. It was also accompanied by blocky debris remindful of what was observed following the flank collapse of Mount St. Helens, leading volcanologists to speculate that flank collapses and perhaps lateral blasts are also part of the arsenal of this mountain. There are 4 – 6 major debris flows down the Drift River dated the last 200 – 400 years which would have been concurrent with eruptions.

A 1902 eruption is reported to have torn the mountain asunder and was accompanied with several large earthquakes, ash falls, and lightning in the ash plume. There was a report of a “tidal wave” associated with the eruption from one of the villages. This may be connected to the eruption but is more likely connected to the earthquake. There was a previous eruption reported in 1881 by local natives, some of which escaped an eruption while hunting on its flanks at the wrong time.

I would list Redoubt as one of the more dangerous volcanoes in Southcentral Alaska. It has all the ingredients – a good supply of viscous, gas-rich magma, a history of short, violent eruptions, a thick mantling of glaciers, steep sides, and no caldera yet. It has given us lahars and flank collapses and lots of tephra. And if you collapse flanks, you open the possibility for lateral blasts. Most importantly, it sits within 100 miles (170 km) or so of half a million people (and great fishing) and two major ports.


Editors Comment: Maybe you would also like to read Bobbi´s take on Redoubt again:

  • Redoubt Author: Bobbi, October 16th 2012

155 thoughts on “Redoubt – an introduction

  1. Agimarc I love this Volcano. mainly because the webcam is so awesome. (When you can actually see something)
    The dome is impressive. Does the dome suggest that the next eruption will be very explosive or maybe like Mt. St. Helens cause a flank eruption?
    Thank you for a lovely post with magnificent photos.

  2. Thank you Agimarc, what a wonderful post!
    “…no caldera yet”. I wonder if there is something common to the Alaskan caldera-truncated volcanoes, base width, magma composition,…?

    • I actually believe the Alaskan volcanoes that have calderas seemed to have been more “shield like” than a volcano like Redoubt. With that said, that’s a very very general observation, and clearly Katmai itself is not like this.

      I would imagine the flank collapse events actually help to prevent a larger caldera eruption since they free up the conduits and decrease the load on the magma chamber. With that said, flank collapse events are a big deal and can get quite nasty (as can be seen with St. Helens).

      • I was kind of basing that observation (guesstimate?) on the notion that as you work your way down the Alaska Range from Hayes, you see caldera after caldera for as far as you go. Current exceptions are Redoubt and Shishaldin, but they tend to lie on the northern end of that string. The farther south you go, the more caldera action you end up seeing (I know, it is a gross simplification). It seems to me that our mountains end up going caldera over time. The farther south you go along the Alaska Range, the more active the mountains are. Redoubt and Spurr are the most northern active volcanoes on that line and seem to still have an active magma feed. One has gone caldera (Spurr) and the other not yet (Redoubt), hence my guesstimate – which is probably all arm-waving. Cheers –

  3. Having watched one of several Mt. St. Helen documentary last night, It is interesting to see which volcanoes support life and vice versa. Redoubt, is there any life on the mountain or not?
    I wonder where the name Redoubt comes from?
    A volcano with many more minuses than +’s. Thanks for writing up about it.

    • Military related.

      “…an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on earthworks, though others are constructed of stone or brick. It is meant to protect soldiers outside the main defensive line and can be a permanent structure or a hastily-constructed temporary fortification. The word means “a place of retreat”.”

      [conjecture] → It probably became named as such due to it’s position in relation to the other volcanoes or mountains.

      Down on Pensacola Beach there are one or two fortifications that are referred to as redoubts, though their design does not lend themselves to that purpose. They are essentially gun emplacements for the old shore battery system.

      This one has become over run with sand.
      30.318667°N – 87.262612°W
      It used to house two really large turret structures. The park service has barricaded the rear access doors shut since the cave like structure of the concrete casements were prone to nefarious activity. Now it just serves as a concrete reinforced beach dune. The road east of here is prone to washout during tropical storms. After Ivan, water exited the bay for several days via that route.

    • Can’t get a lot of life on the mountain if it is covered in snow and glaciers. We are far enough north that the tree line is only a couple thousand feet above sea level. Any higher than that, and you get tundra. The farther north you go, the lower the tree line gets until you get to the point where no tree growth is possible. Example of this is the Alaska North Slope / Prudhoe Bay oil fields or everything from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean coast. In Colorado, the tree line is around 12,000′ ASL Cheers –

    • A really good question. Here is my take, but I think TG McCoy and Islander can fill in the blanks.
      Yes, sand would damage a jet-engine, but there are differences. First of all the sand is much more diluted than the famous ash cloud of Eyjafjallajökull. It is also containing coarser grains so it would abrade the turbine and not be as prone to melting.
      I have though never heard of a plane crashing or being seriously damaged from sand like we see now, but if you fly into a sandstorm you would be in trouble.
      But, let us wait for the flying guys to explain better.

      • As Carl said, the main dangers come from a) the density of the cloud, which is usually much thicker than a dust cloud, and b) the melting point of ash, which is lower than that of sand/dust, and in many cases below the temperature encountered in the hot section of the engine.

        In an ash cloud a high density of particles is encountered. When ingested into a turbine engine they melt in the hot section (combustor) and then accrete on surfaces downstream, particularly the stationary elements. Downstream of the combustor is the turbine, which is the element that drives the front part of the engine, the compressor. At high altitude, where the engine is operating in the thin air to within quite tight margins of pressure differential, any reduction in efficiency of the turbine results in reduction in efficiency of the compressor to the point where the engine flames out (in other words, quits working). Typical serious encounters (as noted in the post with regards to the KLM aircraft, and preceded by an incident with a British Airways 747 that lost all four engines in 1982 when flying through a cloud from Galunggang) with volcanic ash have resulted in all the aircraft’s engines flaming out, but they can be restarted at lower altitudes where the air is more dense and the pressure recovery margins less critical. The engines work at reduced efficiency – enough to get the aircraft safely down – but they will most likely be ruined.

        In a sand/dust cloud the melting point of the particles is much higher, so there is no accretion within the engine. In these cases the danger comes from abrasion on the blades, but that is something that will not have an immediate effect – the particles may cause some small damage to the blades but they will pass through the engine in one piece. There is a cumulative effect, however, and engine efficiency is reduced with continuous use in dust/sand conditions. Consequently, aircraft (particularly helicopters) that are subject to continuous operations in such an environment (such as military helos in Iraq/Afghanistan) are fitted with particulate filters on the air intakes. The filters themselves impart some decrease in efficiency, but greatly reduce the cumulative adverse effect of sand/dust ingestion.

        • In WWII, US aircraft flying in North Africa were all fitted with filters on inlets and did just fine. A year or so later, when they were in Italy working their way up the peninsula in 1944, Vesuvius popped, and there was no noticeable change in air operations (to the best of my knowledge).

          Learning objective from this? Turbines don’t like ash or dust a lot. Pistons (prop-jobs) are not so limited). Of course, there are not a lot or dust / ash filtration systems out there these days. Cheers –

          • Agree with everyone else on this. Ash is by its denser nature far harsher on machinery and electricals than Sand. You have to approach Sahara Sand storm conditions before getting to the
            point of ash damage. See both versions of the “Flight of the Phoenix.” (like the 1965 version better, but watching Jimmy Stewart in the cockpit is like watching Van Cliburn play the Piano…

            • Quite simply the finest performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto that I have ever heard, and his recording of the Rachmaninov #2 is equally spectacular.

            • Watching the video, I noticed that the cameras at the time could not even catch how fast his fingers were moving – they were blurred. Cool!

            • And now a more bawdy take on the piano….

              Roughly, this was the style that my uncle played. Interestingly enough, he had his daughter taking classical piano. Neither one could play the other’s style of music well. He couldn’t play Grieg and she couldn’t play Honky Tonk. (She could actually make a stab at it, but it didn’t sound the same)

        • Why does volcanic ash have a lower melting point than sand or dust? While sand and dust ultimately originate from molten magma, which has been changed into sand and dust by chemical reactions, depositing and erosion.

          • My completely uninformed guess would be the physical shape of the individual particles. Volcanic ash is jagged, full of holes, with lot of surface area exposed to heat. Sand has been weathered, rounded, with minimal surface area exposed to heat. Take a look at Spica’s microscopic photos of ash samples under the microscopic photos tab of VC. Cheers –

          • Everything has a sniff test. The sniff test can quickly tell you if something has merit or if it reeks of something vile. To me, the larger surface area idea passes the sniff test.

            It seems as if that could very well be a strong factor in the remelting of ash in the high temperature environment of a turbojet.

            • One should also remember that up to 50 percent of Sahara sand is actually pollen, seeds and other assorted organic matter mixed in. And that would just burn away. It also explains why the dessert goes so very very green and flowery in hours after a rain. Some of those seeds have been dormant for hundreds or thousands of years.

          • Sand can be composed of all kinds of materials, but I guess the most common one is quartz made of relatively pure silica (SiO2), which is what remains after billion years of weathering. Pure silica has a relatively high glass transition temperature (above 1600°C). Ash (lava) is kind of very “dirty” sand with all kinds of elements in there that lower the glass transition temperature, with silica content of about 50 to 70%.
            But the detrimental effect seems also to depend on particle size, small ones appear to be less dangerous because they tend to stay in the stream. Perhaps sand storms can only lift the tiny sand particles to 10 km.
            And an illuminating video about effects of ash and sand on ceramic turbine coatings here:

            • Excellent answer, chryphia! Thank you!
              To elaborate – there are apparently seven levels of SiO2 – from low-grade silica that will solidify at around 600-700°C to high-grade silica that have Tg (glass transition) temperatures of a lot higher. Naturally lower-grade silica will proliferate in a a volcanic ash cloud.

              I had been mulling this today, and looked up a couple of post-Eyjafjallajökull studies. It seems that particle size is also very important in how dangerous volcanic ash is to aircraft engines.

              Volcanic ash at a typical aircraft cruising altitude (30,000 ft or more) is likely to contain a large proportion of large particles, due to a vigorous, thermally driven lofting of the cloud, whereas a sand/dust cloud at altitude will contain very small particles. As shown in post-Eyja experiments, large particles are much more dangerous to engines than smaller particles, and accrete significantly more on the blades and non-moving parts of engines than smaller particles.

              This might be slightly counter-intuitive: one might think that small particles will melt completely much quicker than large particles and therefore should accrete more easily. Think of an ice-cube: the melting point is the same, but a small cube will melt much quicker than a large one.

              However, in an aero engine the small particles melt completely to a liquid state, but their small mass/inertia means they stay suspended in the gas stream, and pass through the engine. By contrast, the larger particles – although they do not melt completely – have sufficient mass/inertia to overcome the effects of the boundary layer that provides a natural protection to the engine’s solid surfaces. By sheer force they will blast through the boundary layer and strike the solid surfaces. A large, partially melted particle will have a sticky outer layer, and will accrete readily if it comes into contact with the solid surface of a blade or guide vane.

  4. Pingback: Sahara-Sand vs. Aschewolke

    • Dragon Edit!!
      This is this ping back shown as that in between the other comments. So none but a dragon could read it.Thought it might be interesting for you guys. The ping back came from a german site
      Text ran as follows:
      […] you would be in trouble. But, let us wait for the flying guys to explain better. Quelle: Redoubt – an introduction | VolcanoCafé unten im Kommentar Bereich Hat da jemand weitere Informationen zu dem […]
      (( Translation: Source Redoubt an Introduction on Volcanocafe down in the comment section. Does anyone have further information?))

      • I guessed that it was Mast that had pingbacked it since it was in a thread with the subject of Ash vs. Sand.
        Nothing wrong in that, it is just an automated “I used you as a source”-notice in thise case, most pingbacks are just that.

  5. Interesting post, Agimarc. Is that snow on a lava dome in the 13th picture?

    Redoubt’s recent eruptions have been VEI3s but Hayes, Spurr, Iliamna, and Augustine have produced some VEI4s and a VEI5 between them.

    • Redoubt’s recent history with repeated VEI 3 eruptions is a strong argument against something as large as a VEI 5 happening there soon but with volcanoes, you never know.

  6. Lovely, Thank You for such a beautiful collection of pictures. Sure brings back the memories. And i used to fish just like that, on the beach with a net. Caught a king once. Redoubt has been steaming recently and i wonder when it will go again. Best!motsfo from across the inlet from Redoubt.

    • We are dip netting every year in July out of the Kenai City Dock. Do it on a boat rather than in the water. Redoubt is impressive from the dock. Cheers –

  7. Oh yeah…. how far we have come. My wife is watching a collegiate womens softball game between two teams who have as their namesake, a type of wild hog (“Razorback”) against a team who’s namesake is a dinoflagellate bloom. (Karina Brevis → “Crimson Tide”).

    Right now the hogs are in the lead.

    BTW, nothing quite messes up a car on a dark deserted back road than a wild pig. Sort of like hitting a tree stump. At least with deer, they have a higher center of gravity and don’t have quite the same stopping power as a pig. Cows and Horses will just roll in through your windshield. I had a female acquaintance that I was keen on dating at one time who messed up her hand when a cow pinned her hand against the steering wheel. What saved her from greater injury was that she was driving a Ford Torino at the time. Despite being considered a “sporty” car at the time, it was quite massive compared to a cow…

  8. Agimarc – thanks for another splendid post.
    I’m really enjoying this series – boy, would I love to get back to Alaska!

      • Why, thank you! If I ever get back I will be in touch!

        I realised that it is a scary 22 years since I was there (seems like yesterday) – courtesy of the UK taxpayer and Her Majesty’s Flying Club (RAF). Two weeks of sheer heaven, and some of the most exhilarating flying I’ve done. That included hitching a ride up to the North Slope on an Everts C-46 out of Fairbanks, and a surreal ride in the Skycrane thanks to the National Guard at ‘Fort Rich’. Very, very happy days!

        • Knew the old Chief pilot for Everts well. Sat around and told stories about some of the Sourdoughs I’ve known in the tanker business…When I was there last year. Radials still rule in the North.

          • Great company – mate and I had a day spare in Fairbanks so called in at the Everts compound to see if we could look around – it was a temple to the radial engine: working aircraft, dead aircraft, ‘Christmas tree’ aircraft, complete engines, bits of engines, oil, grease … everywhere. And of course a very warm welcome: “You guys from England? Over here with the Air Force?” etc etc. An hour and a half later we were airborne in C-46 ‘Dumbo’! Sweet!!

            Glad to hear that the props are still king up there – it really wouldn’t be the same place without them.

    • Would they have been equally shocked if the Dino would have had feathers?
      Just recently they found that dines most likely had feathers and could even determine the coloring of one species. I laughed a lot when i saw an image of T Rex sporting a yellow Iro but i could not find that image.

      • A Caterpillar™ yellow T-Rex… seems appropriate considering the size. 😀

        The Canary on the Killing Field.

        I Faked it…

    • Here is my five solo-sailing cents about it.
      It is actually common for people to go sailing as a familly and this is the first time I have heard of an incident like this. Personally though I would not go with a toddler, they are just to fragile for the rigors on the ocean. 3 years and up and with a couple of week long stints first to check how they fare, that is how I would do it.

      On the other hand I hope any progeny I get will get my seasickness-genes… It would make the experience far more enjoyable for them.

      • I don’t have any problem with Young people It is the Toddler that i have issues with. A nuber of years ago an Oregon Coast group of young women two sisters and three friends – left Brookings, Oregon for Mendocino. they were in a 45 footer good sails, radio,etc.they got hit North of Mendocino with a storm that de-masted them.. Now the oldest, was the daughter of a Commercial
        Fisherman, and she was the one who took command and calmed the crew down, rigged a stay sail, and got the swamped motor running. She was 17….

        • Well, in my opinion a toddler is not physically equiped to handle the rigors. Around 3 years they can. It is also the issue with all the vaccination and stuff that the kid will need. Not to good to increase the amount of injections that much in a toddler.
          I do not mind people taking young ones with them. But I seriously doubt the brainfunction on parents bringing a one year old. Just think of sailing as a car-trip that lasts for years and then add a 1 year old todler to the equation.
          I would not have any qualms bringing my familly around the globe if they were willing, but a toddler? Nope, not without bringing a personal pediatrician with me, they just catch crap to easily and have to unsteady necks for a storm.

    • tgmmccoy I join with you. As a mother and having experienced the mid Atlantic all it’s moods I would personally not have entertained that kind of voyage in a small boat with my own two small children. I have saw a child suffering for days from seasickness and another from severe sun burn on that Atlantic crossing and that was on a much larger banana boat. Each to their own but unless there is a life threatening reason such as moving because of famine or war mothers in the past tended to stay put with little ones. (Thinking Polynesians now)
      I do think the parents could have waited until the children were much older and even then any voyage is risky as even huge tankers meet rogue wave problems. Poor little children. It must have been frightening and unpleasant especially as children pick up on parental anxiety very quickly.
      I am not against adventures. I am All for them but as I said before small boats and small children over a long period of time is not a good mix unless absolutely necessary.

      • Rogue waves is actually not a big problem on deep water sailing, it is a coastal or shallow water problem. People who do not have a great experience at sailing have a misconception about sailing, that it is more dangerous at deep sea than closer to the shore. In reallity it is shorelines that kill you. With a good boat and experience you will most likely survive even a severe hurricane, but a shore can easily kill you in the best of weathers.
        Back to freak waves. They form as large meandering storm waves merge and travell together untill they meet a shoreline or a shallow that is between 150 and 200 fathoms, there they are slowed down and rise up untill they become the large monsters that everyone loves to fear. If you have an opposing ocean stream it will grow even bigger.
        Here is another counter-intuitive thing. A freak wave is actually more dangerous for a larger ship than a smallish sail boat. Why? If a big ship catches one freak wave on the stern and one on the bow it will break the backbone of the ship and it will rapidly sink whilst the sailboat will just bob about ontop. At worst it will broach and right itself after a while.
        They are also associated mainly with two places on earth, Key Biscayne and at the shallows off Cape Horne. But, they can happen at any shallow with a big ocean around, if you keep an eye out for storms far out at sea on the weather charts (that most people never get since they do not know that they can get them) you can project if storm waves is coming towards you and the risk would be much smaller.
        In reallity most people who disappear in the ocean do so from going stir bat crazy and kill each other. or are just so damned un-knowledgeable about what they are doing so they should never have gone out to begin with.

        More musings on going stir bat crazy on the ocean. I left New York harbour as a quite sensible person. After about a week I was a shaggy person who talked to myself. Yet another week later I had started to answer myself and had quite long conversations with myself, and my beard had grown something fearsome, ontop of that the water pump supplying the shower had gone out.
        Another week later a bearded maniac wildly talking to himself stinking to high heaven landed at Sau Miguel in the Azores with wild staring eyes…. I quickly found a hotel with a shower and a cold beer to talk to. I still remember how refreshingly good the beer was as a conversationalist.

          • Just as a pointer.
            While I sailed from New York to the Azores I took advantage of a very steady wind that goes that way in early june and july. It basically moves around the Icelandic low and shunts of towards the Azores. Normal wind speed is 10 to 17m/s so it is a steady and very strong wind, but not dangerous on a good boat. But it sure builds waves, very large waves. The reason for that is that the wind goes in the same direction all the time so the wind/water interaction will be quite big.
            Still no wrecking waves have been recorded out there in this the most desolate part of the Atlantic. Now you might think that it is because nobody is there, but in olden times all sailing boats used this route, but instead they kind of followed the wind and made a great circle. Still no old reported giant waves. Reason for this is of course that the Atlantic is friggin’ deep.
            How desolate is it? Well, I did 15 days without seeing a single ship or getting a single blip on the radar. The only thing a saw was the floating jetty off a marina that happily bobbed along with two boats mored to it. It is probably one of the more surreal thing I have done to more to a floating jetty in the middle of an ocean. Only reason I even saw that one was that it triggered the sound-alarm on the radar making me jump a meter straight up… Reason for having a radar with an alarm should be obvious, any ship out there is running on auto-pilot and they will not keep a good watch, and neither will you for about half the day since you are sleeping or otherwise occupied with talking to yourself.

            • This is about the time that various members of combat undertake their fart wars. The perfect delivery is if you can get in and get out, and then have the members of the DRT team start blaming each other.

  9. A Sunday musing on Peace… For my UKian, Spanish and moslem friends, tongue in cheek warning 🙂

    It is said that any good compromise leading to peace is built on everybody involved not getting what they want and becoming rather unsatisfied. The world is currently filled with places in need of compromises that makes everyone involved miserable, this especially goes for the sillier examples.
    Let us look at Gibraltar for example. First a couple of short facts on the matter. Gibraltar had only been Spanish territory for 212 years when the Anglo-Dutch expeditionary force occupied it in 1704, it has since been under Brittish rule for 310 years.
    What people forget is that it was a part of the Moorish Caliphate for 800 years, so both are newcomers…
    This leads to an interesting possibility to piss everyone involved off in a glorious fashion. Convert the Cliff into a humongous Mosque, build a 200 meter high statue of Frodo on top, rename it all into Mooria and give it back to the combined Moslim states of the world.
    In one glorious strike of genius you would have made the Spanish mad as hell for loosing out once more on Gibraltar, it would make the Brittons equally miserably, it would irritate anyone now living on Mooria, it would also make the EU breath fire and it would also piss off every Moslim state to get a mosque with a Giant Arse-Frodo on top of it.
    Finally peace would be had due to everyone involved feeling that the world well and truly hates them personally. It would also set a stunning example for everyone else who can not come to a sensible solution to their squabbles. Becuase in the end, who would really like a giant arsed statue of Frodo commemorating ones silliness, especially if it is humping a humongous Falkland Island Sheep?
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • The southern Spanish would be doubly pissed off as they would be robbed of their primary source of cheap tobacco and alcohol

    • Give it back to the Neanderthals. They were there first. (Archaeological evidence points to this) Since there are no extant populations, find the group with the highest level of Neanderthal genetic material and cede it to them.

      Could you imagine the animosity if it turned out to be the Basques?

      Note: This is based solely on the Basque language not falling into the Indo-European language family, not on any extant genetic study.

      In fact, there is some contention about some of the words in the Basque language for some tools (gardening implements) that have a word for “stone” as part of the base for the word. This could be indicative of a direct lineage to a paleolithic society. As mentioned, this idea is under contention.

      The aizkora controversy

      • All Basques are blood type O, like the Neanders. Neanders survived longest in that area, especially Asturias, Cantabria (but also to the south, Gibraltar for sure). People in the north-west of the Iberian peninsula still tell legends about the “Mouros”, huge people, dark skinned with light eyes and hair. They built the megalithic monuments, they say, such as the the dolmen of Entrerrios, commonly know as ‘a Llastra a Filadoira’. And the El Sidrón cave, where they found bones, signs of interbreeding with modern peoples, and one of the oldest road maps painted on a wall… Interestingly enough, the Basques seem to have some DNA in common with the Sami people of northern Scandinavia…

        • If they could prove that the Neanders built the meagaliths… that would be a serious game changer in archeology.

          • It is only since a few years that Neanders are able to talk, use paint as make-up and do other more sophisticated things that were inconceivable… What is conceivable is that later peoples found the megaliths and dolmen and used them as burial chambers… There is a story that in El Sidron or some other place they found Neander tools and more modern ‘Neolithic’ tools side by side, that is, deposited around the same time – which is to say, they lived along side one another. The question ”why the Neanders did not start using them’ was answered as they were incapable of cultural improvements. Then someone got the luminous idea to test them: the older ones did a better job…

        • Rather than add too much here I will share with you another place where I have been having a similar discussion:

          The Basques have 4% dna from Neanderthals while the rest of us who are not from south of the Sahara have 2%. The Basque language is linked to old Armenian and migrations have occurred for millennia, for reasons which are mostly beyond explanation, but some can be tracked in resident populations where less change has occurred in recent centuries, as in Tenerife where the museum in Santa Cruz shows mummified people who were part Berber and part Sami, and who had no boats so stayed put for 3000 years or more before the Spanish arrived.

          Science is unlocking the mysteries of migration around the world – and the Vikings rules the trade routes long before the Celts established their western seaboard trading posts.

    • Hi mike, thanks for the video! Yes, it is Shiveluch all right, but there is nowhere a date to detect for the recording, and my Russian is not nearly good enough to understand the commentator 😀 However, there has been a flight ash advisory for Shiveluch on Saturday for FL200 – “hight estimated from seismic records”, and a 6 km ash plume was reportet in the media.

      In this video I heard the name Shiveluch spoken in Russian language for the first time:
      shi – as in shiver
      luch – as in butcher

  10. I have been watching the measley Rash of quakes in Iceland over the last few days. I do wish I had collected screen shots as I think I have noticed something. Maybe if I explain what I think I am seeing someone will be able to say….”Oh yes. That is usual because……”
    I saw the large swarms of quakes along the Reykjanes ridge and onto the peninsula. A day or so later the TFZ produced a few more quakes than your average day.
    In the mean time there was a slight increase under Vatnajokull and Myrdalsjokull and a few that followed the line of the MAR. It was like watching dominoes fall.
    I Understand (or imagine) the MAR having a good old stretchy rift at the moment but what I want to know is…does it always rift starting in the South and following Northwards. Does it rift in sections? What triggers a rifting session? And lastly why doesn’t the middle of Iceland go wobbly like the North and South. Is this why it’s called the “Dead Zone”? How much do people know about the rest of the MAR particularly at depth?
    I think I feel a Post on the MAR coming on!

    • The “Dead Zone” is just a term that we coined around here due to the paucity of seismic events there. My take on it is that the crust in the “Dead Zone” is too plastic/malleable to build up an appreciable amount of stress. With no build up of stress, the rock never gets to a level that it can cause it to fracture. That is unless the stress arrives faster than the crust can deform to accommodate it.

      I have a feeling/hunch that much of the MAR operates similar to this. The regions where you have actual quakes are along the fracture zones with strike-slip faulting where the transforms are at. The other regular MAR quakes are from grabens forming as the newly emplaced crust moves away from the spreading center and slips down from the lower pressure at it’s root.

    • There is currently no evidence that we are close to an eruption at Krysuvik. No large earthquake activity and no real uplift indicating inflation. But who know what will happen sooner or later? IMO and Sigrún Hreindsdotttir certainly keeps a very close eye on that volcano.
      I do thought think that Hekla and Grimsvötn will blow before that happens though.

      • last eruption there 1340(?)
        Well are some of the earthquakes at that point around a mile down or more?

        She has been on a few of those documentaries aired on tv over the last few years thanks to Eyafjallajokull.

        • Most of the earthquakes have been between 12km to 4km depth with some even deeper.
          It has had at least one large inflation period back in 2010. There have also been quite a few rather weird instances of lake drainage. Definitely a volcano that can be up and coming.

  11. I’ve been away from my computer all weekend due to family obligations. To Agimarc: Thank you for your wonderful post on my favorite volcano. To Spica: Thank you for referencing my post on Redoubt in 2012. Gasp! Has it really been that long ago? Time sure flies when you’re having fun at Volcanocafe. 😀 Lots of comments to read. TTFN

  12. Humor in Tragedy.

    As many of you have noticed, there has been a minor epidemic of financial and bank related people dieing. Some from suicide by nail-gun, others by leaping off of things that shouldn’t be leapt off of. In the news today, someone actually capped a banking CEO. CEO of local financial institution Bank Frick & Co. AG, Juergen Frick, was shot dead in the underground garage of the bank located in the city of Balzers.

    Thats the tragedy. Now the humor. It is rip roaringly funny from a US point of view. Remember, one of the things that commands our attention here in the US is sheer horsepower. So when I read this part of the story, I nearly died laughing.

    “The suspect, Juergen Hermann, fled the scene in a Smart car.”

    Not an actual Smart Car, just what comes to mind

    Immediately I began thinking of one of the background songs from Nuns on the Run, specifically the chase scene.

    • Seems like the banking business is having some sort of war with each other. I still think it is the aftermath of the stellarly ill-timed mining war in 2008. I am of course refering to when Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton tried to take over each other in hostile fashion. An unfathomable 100 billion pounds of net worth was erradicated within weeks as Rio Tinto broke BHP Billitons attempt. And Rio Tinto has a long memory indeed…

      • Was unaware of a mining war, but with financials growing massively unstable, it probably would be a bad time to have a corporate shit fight.

        • It was the corporate shit-fight of, well forever… The repercussions will be felt for decades. In the end it was two behemoths with private armies and almost unlimited resources that duked it out, and they did it in any dirty way they could, whilst at the same time slugging each other in courts and on the open stock-market. The general population has missed this one, but it’s impact was far more reaching than the banking crash.
          In the end it was BHP trying to take over a larger part of the Diamond industry from De Beers (Part of the Rio group and Rothchild and Cie) whilst Rio Tinto tried to expand on copper and iron mines.
          Basically Rio kept control of the Diamonds, but lost the control of the copper business. BHP lost controll of Iron. The winners was Anglo-American, Boliden and LKAB. The last one doubled its market share of Iron ore production to a whopping 10 percent making it the worlds largest independent mining company. You can easilly imagine what a shift of money and influence happened during those weeks as entire market shares switched hands.
          It also ended with pretty much all of Europes mines being in our grubby Swedish hands.

          • During the Battle of Broken Hill, when the two assailants had been cornered and were engaged in a gunfight with the Police and Military… and armed townspeople.

            “James Craig, a 69-year-old occupant of a house behind the Cable Hotel, resisted his daughter’s warning about chopping wood during a gun battle and was hit by a stray bullet and killed. He was the fourth to die.”

            Broken Hill is the BH in the BHP name. (Broken Hill Proprietary) which is where BHP made it’s initial hit in silver production.

            This tidbit is the result of looking into some of the odd stuff that gets posted here. 😀

      • I have actually seen those critters trying to navigate in and around tractor trailer rigs on the interstate. Hell, if a motorcycle can pull it off, they should also be able to get around them with out becoming a crushed beer can.

  13. Evenin’ All,
    Our last night in Tenerife, so we went for a special meal, I chose the parrillada de pescos y mariscos (mixed fish and shellfish grill.) Which set up one of my favourite restaurant jokes… There is no sensible way to eat a mixed grill without getting messy, so when the waitress brought a fingerbowl (a small bowl of hot soapy water) I said “Tengo vino para bebir…” (I have wine to drink…) It took her a while to get the joke, mainly because she was working on the assumption that I was German (that happens a lot here) and so was not prepared for a witticism in her own language… She was quite tickled when she finally processed my comment 🙂

    • My goodness your holiday time has gone so quickly. I do hope you had a good rest and feel better. At least Brighton may be warmer that up here in Lancashire but I bet you will feel the chill when you land back in the UK

      • If it seems to have gone by quickly from your perspective, just imagine how quickly time has passed here x Adventures have a way of accelerating time, Einstein didn’t really ever manage to explain this phenomenon 🙂

  14. Thought this might be of interest. Redoubt “screaming” as she built up for eruption. Just amazing hearing a volcano,.

  15. Thanks for a great post. Redoubt is so beautiful and I love learning more about it. Diana I missed your comments for a while. I rarely have anything useful to add but miss the regulars when they are otherwise occupied.

    • Oh Brenda! Thank you! 🙂 Hey! Just comment even if you don’t think it’s useful. It’s good to “see” everyone who visits. Brenda what part of the world are you from? I am sure you have told me but I forget stuff. I like to think that’s because I am so busy and not due to my marbles dropping down a grid 😀

    • I don’t have time to go read the article, but when you start getting up into the 5.7 range, you are leaving the realm at which the energy from pumping down the water can account for the energy release.

      One item that seems to be glaringly absent, is any consideration of the Nemaha Ridge and it’s relationship to the MCR.

      Quakes tend to be spooky spooky, and people with an agenda will leap on anything they can to push what they are trying to achieve. When I see that sort of scenario at play, I tend to equate the claimants with other subhumans and give them little consideration.

      A bit of reading will reveal that Type II disposal wells have been around for quite a while. All are strictly regulated. The inclusion of the buzzword “fracking” fits with the Rules for Radicals mantra of identifying and freezing the target so that you can then steer public opinion against it. In other words, it’s a method of sheep herding.

      • What the experts say: The Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) issued a reasonable statement on 17 Feb 2014:
        “Since 2009, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been approximately 40
        times higher than in the previous 30 years….However, even a 100-year timeframe is not statistically representative in geological terms for a plate interior.”

        “The majority of the historical and more recent earthquakes are located on or
        near the Nemaha Ridge, the Ouachita-Arbuckle-Wichita Mountain front, and
        other major geological paleo-structures. Over geological time, these
        structures have been a source of significant tectonic and seismic activity.”

        “About 80% of the State is within 15 kilometers (9 miles) of an Underground
        Injection Control (UIC) Class II water disposal or enhanced oil recovery
        injection well. For this reason, identifying possible induced or triggered
        seismicity requires more scientific evidence than simply identifying spatial
        correlations. It is also important to note that about 99% of the earthquakes
        that have occurred in Oklahoma over the past few years also lie within 9
        miles of a UIC Class II well.”

        “Most of the earthquakes are located deeper in crystaline basement and not in
        the shallower, sedimentary section where salt-water disposal is taking place.
        This does not rule out the possibility that oil and gas activity can trigger
        deeper earthquakes or that small, shallower earthquakes can act as a
        “trigger” for larger, deeper earthquakes, but there is currently little if any
        direct evidence for this in Oklahoma.”

        • right, that makes more sense, m5.7 from injection seemed rather surprising – correlation not always = causation 🙂

    • Have we not learnt from Boris or other experts, that earthquakes generally do not have an impact on any volcanoes, unless the volcano is ready to erupt anyway? I thought we have, I keep repeating that to myself like a mantra, when there are quakes near by volcanoes. 🙂

  16. Hello all! If an ignoramus like me wants to have one or two stations at Hekla to look for possible changes towards an eruption – which ones would you recommend, that are the most telling ones? I would like to include it (or them) on my webcam pages for my daily overview. Thanks!

    • Another question: on the GFZ Hekla webcam there is a small graph inset in the lower left hand corner. What does it show? -Thanks!

      • I would not put it in. It is noisier then hell and filled with false earthquakes from the people in the house.
        It can at best give details for an eruption. But that geophone without cool heads around to explain would just be a disaster.

      • On a plus side, Jon does maintain a subdued persona about it and is not overly prone to excitable prognostications.

        • It was no criticism on Jón, but if someone random looks at his webicorder only they might go “We Will All Die” every five minutes as the people in the hut is having a party…

        • That gives me an idea of where to place an accelerometer…. but that would be some really strange porn.

          I wonder if you could derive Joules of work if given the masses involved…

          … and no, it ain’t gonna be me. But it does make you wonder about the extent that researchers in human physiology and kinematics would go to.

  17. Here’s the BBC via NASA a few weeks late in saying Nishinoshima has merged with the new volcanic island to form a single island:

    But my point is: in the photo in the BBC article, can people see a smoke plume from the *old* island? It looks to me like there’s a small one just in front of / to the south west of / 8 o’clock from the area of green in the foreground. It looks like its rising vertically. Or am I imagining things? Is it likely that the old island might be active as well? Do we know how old the old island is?

    • Oh, I meant to put my reply here, and I meant to say in short, yes I can see the fumarole in the foreground and I think it is quite normal as the whole area – above and under water – is an active volcano.

  18. Hi Espadrille, the area has been active for a long time, with the original volcano having several active cones which produced several small islands in recent years. Those have also been merged with the Nishinoshima island. It seems that the age of the volcano is not known, but it should be quite old, as GVP describes it as “The 700-m-wide island is the summit of a massive submarine volcano”. It wouldn’t be ‘massive’ as a young volcano, would it?
    I like the photo GVP has of it 🙂

  19. I’m enjoying the earthquakes going on when I go to up the IMO. I know that the bulk are very shallow though There is some activity going on in the dead zone and Vatnajokull. the Tjornes and activity in southwest Iceland aren’t as much of a concern.

    • Currently there is not that much interesting going on in Iceland. A small intrusion just happened north of Theistareykjarbunga out in the ocean, a couple of days ago there was another at Geirfugladrangur and a couple of interesting quakes just north of Torfajökull. That is about it. Slow times in Iceland right now.

    • That’s a great selection of images, thanks Espadrille, you have probably noticed that I am quite the Canaryphile… 😀
      Are you from the Canaries? I have just returned from Tenerife and I’m already planning my next trip, possibly including a visit to El Hierro…

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