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Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano is a sight to behold

April 3, 2009 | 12:40 pm

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It has been a while since Outposts shared images from Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano, which continues to rumble and bark and spew steam and ash high and far across a wintry landscape.

The top image was captured Tuesday by Neil Sutton from Cannery Road on the Kenai Peninsula, about 50 miles to the east across the Cook Inlet. The bottom image was captured Thursday by scientist Kristi Wallace. It shows a fellow scientist gathering ash fall and how the ash is discoloring snow.

Meanwhile, Redoubt continues to make breathing uncomfortable for many and to disrupt travel to and from Anchorage on Alaska Airlines (though there are currently normal operations and no ash fall warnings). Also, this weekend, six million gallons of oil at the nearby Drift River terminal will be moved to a safer location.

The volcano's last major eruption was Tuesday and scientists with the Alaska Volcano Observatory say a lava dome is forming. That hardened lava atop the crater might ultimately become unstable and lead to more explosive eruptions. In fact, this tempestuousness might last months, as it did in 1989-90.

No good will come of all of this--the continuous disruption of airline service could be ruinous during the peak summer tourism season--but the images it generates are pretty spectacular.

--Pete Thomas

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