will the volcano blow?
So what comes to the mind when you hear the word ‘Alaska’? Snow, frozen lakes? Right?
Add one more to the list. “Volcano”. One big fat, angry one ready to blow.
CNN report on the latest at Mount Redoubt in Alaska
It’s 3 degrees and snowing outside the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage, but inside the operations center, things are heating up.
“This is kind of the nerve center, if you will,” says geologist Michelle Coombs, who is at the helm of a bank of video monitors showing readouts from sensors on Mount Redoubt, a volcano about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The sensors measure seismic activity on the volcano’s summit. Scientists at the observatory combine that information with data gathered from daily airplane flights to the volcano to measure gases and try to figure out if and when Redoubt is going to blow.
“We’re seeing lots of little earthquakes right now,” says Coombs. “As that magma rises, it breaks rock as it gets to the surface, and it also it gives off gases, and that leads to the seismic activities were seeing now.”