Mt. ReDoubt Update: 3/28 @ 8:00 a.m.

The sixteenth eruption of Mt. ReDoubt in less than a week occurred at 1:20 this morning.

According to the most recent Chevron update, a flyover of ReDoubt conducted yesterday by the Alaska Volcano Observatory reports that lahar activity has not affected the integrity of the containment walls around the Drift River Terminal. They also report that the path of runoff from ReDoubt has shifted toward Rust’s Slough, and that this reroute of water will further minimize risk to the terminal.

I am uncertain how this is so, as according to the AVO's history of the 1989-1990 eruptions "at least six lahars in the Drift River reached Cook Inlet during the 1989-90 eruptions (Dorava and Meyer, 1994). The largest of these occurred on January 2, 1990 and inundated Rust Slough, including parts of the Drift River Oil Terminal."

The AVO has also stated that due to recent activity at the volcano, approximately 90% of the snow and ice is gone from the Drift River Basin. The presence of snow and ice in the basin typically reduces the chances of lahars and flooding.

The Cook Inlet Pipeline Company states that they are clearing debris to create access to the facilities.

CIPL also reports that Cook Inlet Spill Response Inc. has conducted soundings, and found no change in the water depths in the vicinity of the loading platform at the terminal.

There is no word on if, or when, the oil will be drawn-out of the tanks.

- photo of ReDoubt and Drift River Valley (3/26/09), by Game McGimsey, courtesy AVO