EASY READING CULTURE OF LIFE NEWS: POSSIBLE MAJOR VOLCANIC EVENT IN ALASKA « Culture of Life News 2
This is a photo of a past eruption of Mt. Redoubt in Alaska. It is about to erupt again. This volcano has had many spectacular eruptions in the past. It is an extremely dangerous volcano so of course, oil companies built oil storage facilities near the foot of this active, active volcano. This volcano is less than 150 miles from Anchorage, Alaska. We know from Mt. St. Helens that any explosive blow-off can have a very large killing radius. More than 50 miles. And this volcano is larger than Mt. St. Helens. One thing is certain: these volcanos can cause huge changes in precipitation and temperatures.
Last night, I was outside working in the dark. The moon and Venus were bright in the West but the moon was yellow. So I looked to Orion to see if it was my imagination or were all the stars around the moon, which was a small sliver, missing? I saw no stars at all, to the west. But I looked to the southeast to see Orion. It was barely visible. And the Pleiades were also nearly invisible. It was a still, cold, cloudless night, the sort we usually get brilliant, glittering stars. But no stars were bright or glittering except for Venus which is in its brighter phase.
I said to my husband, ‘A volcano must be getting active in Alaska again.’ So I was not shocked to read today’s news:
Hardware stores and auto parts shops scored a post-holiday run of business this week as Anchorage-area residents stocked up on protective eyewear and masks ahead of a possible eruption of .
Monitoring earthquakes underneath the 10,200-foot Redoubt Volcano about 100 miles southwest of, scientists from the warned that an eruption was imminent, sending experienced Alaskans shopping for protection against a dusty shower of that could descend on south-central Alaska….
On Nov. 5, geologists noted changed emissions and minor melting near the Redoubt summit and raised the threat level from green to yellow. It jumped to orange — the stage just before eruption — on Sunday in response to a sharp increase in earthquake activity below the volcano.
Alaska’s volcanoes are not like‘s. “Most of them don’t put out the red river of lava,” said the observatory’s John Power.
Instead, they typically explode and shoot ash 30,000 to 50,000 feet high — more than nine miles — into the .
We call these ‘dirty volcanoes.’ And they are ten times more dangerous than mere volcanoes. For they are great at pumping a lot of volcanic ash and chemicals into the stratosphere. The previous volcanic eruptions of the last 2 years have been very dirty but not tremendous in volume. But they did shoot up very high so we have a very fine, white veil over the earth. It is quite obvious: all the snow we are digging out from under is partially a by-product of volcanic activity. I am buried in snow this year. And more is coming.
I have a passive solar heated house and I have lots and lots of south-facing windows. Even on the brightest, sunniest of days when I normally get a lot of heat, it has barely warmed up the house. And this will get worse if Mt. Redoubt blows. It all depends on the force of the eruption and the prevailing winds. If winds are high, the dust never gets a chance to reach the stratosphere and we have little effects from this. Volcanos on the equator are, in particular, prone to seeing their plumes chopped off by strong prevailing winds.
The winter prevailing winds from the Jet Stream are strongest and hopefully, will prevent the volcano from polluting the stratosphere. We shall see. Each eruption is its own master and no one can predict what will happen next. Volcanos are notoriously more capricious than hurricanes.
60°29’7″ N 152°44’38” W, Summit Elevation 10197 ft (3108 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Unrest at Redoubt Volcano continues, though no eruption has yet occurred. Seismicity levels have risen within the last 8 hours. Redoubt remains at Aviation Color Code ORANGE and Volcano Alert Level WATCH.
AVO’s website has been overwhelmed with traffic this morning because of extensive national news coverage. A backup, low-bandwidth webserver is operating with limited information.
Staff are currently monitoring the volcano 24 hours a day. We will issue further information as it becomes available.
Normally, I can watch this volcano via a continuous monitor. Obviously, everyone on earth wants a front seat view! I hope they get it up and running again. Below is a map showing where this volcano is:
Mount Redoubt, or Redoubt Volcano, is an active stratovolcano in the largely volcanic Aleutian Range of Alaska. The mountain is also the highest within the range. It is located in the Chigmit Mountains (a subrange of the Aleutians), west of Cook Inlet, about 180 km (110 miles) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska….The volcano began to erupt on December 15, 1989, and would continue to erupt for over 5 months. Sudden melting of snow and ice by the summit by pyroclastic flowsand dome collapses caused lahars, or mudflows, which flowed down the north flank of the mountain. A majority of the mudflows coursed to Cook Inlet, about 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the volcano. The lahars entered a nearby river, worrying officials that they might destroy an oil storage facility positioned along it.
Since the lahars were produced repetitively, scientists realized that they could use these to analyze a trial period for a newly developed device proposed to measure the movement of rocks against each other. This device, now known as an Acoustic Flow Monitor, alerts nearby stations to possible lahars.
The eruption also caused an airplane to land, after all four of its engines stalled after the plane flew into a cloud of volcanic ash from the volcano. Damage from the eruption was estimated at $160 million, the second costliest volcanic eruption in United States history. If the lahars had gone much further, they could have easily threatened people in the Cook Inlet area, which contains 60% of Alaska’s total population.
I went off to see these oil facilities perched right in the lap of one of the nastier volcanoes on earth:
Mouth of Drift River.
Oil storage tanks.
All of Alaska is a difficult environment. Many places rich in mineral and organic resources tend to be active volcanic zones. The violent upheavals of this restless earth churns the materials that are the planetary riches. It brings up important minerals and materials from deep below our feet. Scientists even think that the first life on earth clustered around volcanic vent zones in the oceans. We may be the byproduct of volcanism.
This map shows that the volcano is very close to the largest city in Alaska. Not that other places should laugh at this! Mount Rainier is only 50 miles from Seattle, a much bigger and very vulnerable city! For that volcano’s melted glaciers and mud flows are aimed straight at the city of Tacoma. Whereas Mt. Redoubt is aimed at the waterways that flow out of the Anchorage area. The main danger is to shipping. It is just amazing that thousands of houses and businesses were built in the obvious path of Mt.Rainier’s inevitable eruption floods. But then, many houses in California are built on a multitude of earthquake faults. Including right on top of the San Andreas, one of the most dangerous landmass fault systems on earth.
Below is a lovely photo taken by a professional photographer.
Pictures by QT Luong [click on the name above if you want to order copies of these pictures]
Here are satellite images of the Alaskan volcano:
Along with the huge trenches off the coastlines of Indonesia and Japan, this is one of the deepest and greatest subduction zones on earth. This is the motor that runs the volcanoes.
And all of Southern Alaska except for on sector, are mainly a continuous string of volcanoes, some of the tallest ones on earth. Mt. Wrangell is the furthest eastern volcano. It is a caldera volcano, one of the most dangerous types on earth.
Mount Wrangell is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over 220 cubic miles (920 km3), making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the largest stratovolcano by volume in the Cascades.
An ice-filled caldera 2.5 by 3.7 miles (4 km × 6 km) in diameter lies at the top of Wrangell’s broad shield. The caldera was apparently formed by subsidence rather than large explosive eruptions. The caldera is in turn rimmed by three small craters, which often display fumarolic activity with steam plumes that can sometimes be seen from a distance. The main summit is on the north side of the caldera, while the west summit rises to 14,013 feet (4,271 m). The summit region above 13,000 feet (4,000 m) in elevation is over 2 by 5 miles (3 km × 8 km) in size. A very large cinder cone, 13,009-foot (3,965 m) Mount Zanetti, rises nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) above the northwest flank of Wrangell and is the source of some lava flows.
Wrangell is unusual in that despite being a shield volcano, it is made mainly of andesite rather than basalt, which forms most shield volcanoes in other parts of the world. A few other volcanoes in the Wrangell Volcanic Field also share this feature. Andesite is a volcanic rock found mainly in stratovolcanoes and tends to form short, stubby flows. How Wrangell grew into a shield volcano is poorly understood, but its lava flows appear to have been voluminous and were also probably generated by high eruption rates.
Wrangell is the only volcano in the Wrangell Volcanic Field to have had historically recorded eruptions, generally in the form of small steam and ash explosions. The amount of geothermal heat being emitted by Wrangell has been increasing since the 1950s, raising the possibility of a future eruption. Also, the heat flux has been high enough to melt ice around the craters and create ice caves.
It, too, is a sleeping monster just like Yellowstone Park’s even greater caldera. Incidentally, I have gotten emails from people who want me to listen to total idiots who claim that there is no Hubbert’s Peak and it is just a fantasy and look, Alaska has lots and lots of oil! Well, eat this!
The US graphs look even worse if they go back to 1950. The Alaskan bulge was actually only 20% of US production at its peak. It is now only about 10% and dropping. This decline is obvious and totally vindicates Hubbert’s analysis. What fluctuates wildly isn’t production, per say, but consumption and delivery. For example, world production can drop if Saudi Arabia decides to not sell oil and they have done this in the past. Production falls if there is a war raging in Iraq and Iran. But barring these events, places where there are no wars and no boycotts, the same thing happens: The oil is pumped very vigorously. It flows more and more as an oil field is explored. Then, all the wells begin to decline in tandem as the entire field dries up. End of story.
It baffles me why people are puzzled by all this. It seems fairly simple to me. Oil barons in the US hate low oil prices because pumping oil from exhausted fields or difficult places like the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska, is very expensive. So they hate cheap oil. No profits in that. They need a war in the Middle East to raise prices. Desperately, they need these wars! So expect wars at some point in time.
Oh, and a last word: if this volcano erupts and is a huge event, like an explosion blowing off the top, expect a very cold winter and cold summer and global food shortages. If the eruption is short or not energetic, all will be well. We still will have lots of snow and other things, but not a catastrophe. This is all up to Mother Nature and Her whims. It baffles me why people don’t worship Her! But then, unlike the human-made gods, She listens to no one.
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