Alaska on alert as evidence mounts that volcano is stirring

Anchorage Daily NewsFebruary 2, 2009 

Mount Redoubt still hadn't blown its stack as of Sunday evening, but some awesome stuff was happening high atop the restless volcano.

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage showed stunning pictures from a Saturday flyover to demonstrate the immense forces at work within Redoubt, located 106 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Two holes -- one more than the length of a football field across -- have formed in Drift Glacier below the summit. Each of the holes, known as fumaroles, is blowing steam and volcanic gas 2,000 feet into the air.

A vast sunken area known as a "collapse feature" also has appeared in recent hours. And a thin mudflow is streaming down the 10,197-foot mountain.

It takes immense heat welling up within the volcano to make the giant holes and other features in so brief a time, volcanologist Peter Cervelli said.

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