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Redoubt Eruption Update for 4/7/2009

Chevron’s oil production in Cook Inlet has been shut down indefinitely as Redoubt continues to rumble, albeit in a much more fashionable shade of Orange (for the time being).

Image courtesy of AVO/USGS taken by Kristi Wallace showing the eruption plume on March 31, 2009.

Today’s update will be relatively brief: AVO has returned Redoubt to Orange/Watch status after this weekend’s eruptions. The new dome continues to grow and this is accompanied by the usual volcanic seismicity associated with dome construction. We should expect to see the status fluctuate from Orange to Red as the eruption waxes and wanes – and likely get little to no warning of the next big explosive event.

The eruptions of Redoubt has forced Chevron to halt activity for all its Cook Inlet oil production – all 10 oil platforms – due to the indefinite closure of the Drift River Oil Terminal. We’ve been following the controversial terminal and the debate about its operation. The actual oil in the terminal has been loaded up to be moved, taking all but 2.5 million gallons of the 6.2 million gallons currently housed at the facility. Seawater will be used to fill the partially empty tanks to prevent them from “floating away” in the event of a large flood from the Drift River. This likely wraps up the Drift River Terminal saga until Redoubt settles to the point where Chevron and Coast Guard officials can considering reopening it.

And for those of you who want to see some great volcano eye candy, the Boston Globe (my hometown newspaper) has an excellent collection online.


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