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College, AK, United States

Bull K.F.,354 College Rd | Buurman H.,University of Alaska Fairbanks
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

In March 2009, Redoubt Volcano, Alaska erupted for the first time since 1990. Explosions ejected plumes that disrupted international and domestic airspace, sent lahars more than 35. km down the Drift River to the coast, and resulted in tephra fall on communities over 100. km away. Geodetic data suggest that magma began to ascend slowly from deep in the crust and reached mid- to shallow-crustal levels as early as May, 2008. Heat flux at the volcano during the precursory phase melted ~. 4% of the Drift glacier atop Redoubt's summit. Petrologic data indicate the deeply sourced magma, low-silica andesite, temporarily arrested at 9-11. km and/or at 4-6. km depth, where it encountered and mixed with segregated stored high-silica andesite bodies. The two magma compositions mixed to form intermediate-silica andesite, and all three magma types erupted during the earliest 2009 events. Only intermediate- and high-silica andesites were produced throughout the explosive and effusive phases of the eruption. The explosive phase began with a phreatic explosion followed by a seismic swarm, which signaled the start of lava effusion on March 22, shortly prior to the first magmatic explosion early on March 23, 2009 (UTC). More than 19 explosions (or "Events") were produced over 13. days from a single vent immediately south of the 1989-90 lava domes. During that period multiple small pyroclastic density currents flowed primarily to the north and into glacial ravines, three major lahars flooded the Drift River Terminal over 35. km down-river on the coast, tephra fall deposited on all aspects of the edifice and on several communities north and east of the volcano, and at least two, and possibly three lava domes were emplaced. Lightning accompanied almost all the explosions.A shift in the eruptive character took place following Event 9 on March 27 in terms of infrasound signal onsets, the character of repeating earthquakes, and the nature of tephra ejecta. More than nine additional explosions occurred in the next two days, followed by a hiatus in explosive activity between March 29 and April 4. During this hiatus effusion of a lava dome occurred, whose growth slowed on or around April 2. The final explosion pulverized the very poorly vesicular dome on April 4, and was immediately followed by the extrusion of the final dome that ceased growing by July 1, 2009, and reached 72Mm3 in bulk volume. The dome remains as of this writing. Effusion of the final dome in the first month produced blocky intermediate- to high-silica andesite lava, which then expanded by means of lava injection beneath a fracturing and annealing, cooling surface crust. In the first week of May, a seismic swarm accompanied extrusion of an intermediate- to high-silica andesite from the apex of the dome that was highly vesicular and characterized by lower P2O5 content. The dome remained stable throughout its growth period likely due to combined factors that include an emptied conduit system, steady degassing through coalesced vesicles in the effusing lava, and a large crater-pit created by the previous explosions. We estimate the total volume of erupted material from the 2009 eruption to be between ~80M and 120Mm3 dense-rock equivalent (DRE).The aim of this report is to synthesize the results from various datasets gathered both during the eruption and retrospectively, and which are represented by the papers in this publication. We therefore provide an overall view of the 2009 eruption and an introduction to this special issue publication. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Wang L.,Environment Canada | Wolken G.J.,354 College Rd | Wolken G.J.,University of Alberta | Sharp M.J.,University of Alberta | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

An integrated pan-Arctic melt onset data set is generated for the first time by combining estimates derived from active and passive microwave satellite data using algorithms developed for the northern high-latitude land surface, ice caps, large lakes, and sea ice. The data set yields new insights into the spatial and temporal patterns of mean melt onset date (MMOD) and the associated geographic and topographic controls. For example, in the terrestrial Arctic, tree fraction and latitude explain more than 60% of the variance in MMOD, with the former exerting a stronger influence on MMOD than the latter. Elevation is also found to be an important factor controlling MMOD, with most of the Arctic exhibiting significant positive relationships between MMOD and elevation, with a mean value of 24.5 m d-1. Melt onset progresses fastest over land areas of uniform cover or elevation (40-80 km d-1) or both and slows down in mountainous areas, on ice caps, and in the forest-tundra ecotones. Over sea ice, melt onset advances very slowly in the marginal seas, while in the central Arctic the rate of advance can exceed 100 km d-1. Comparison of the observed MMOD with simulated values from the third version of the Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model showed good agreement over land areas but weaker agreement over sea ice, particularly in the central Arctic, where simulated MMOD is about 2-3 weeks later than observed because of a cold bias in simulated surface air temperatures over sea ice. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

Sharp M.,University of Alberta | Burgess D.O.,Geological Survey of Canada | Cogley J.G.,Trent University | Ecclestone M.,Trent University | And 2 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters

Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands contain ∼14% of Earth's glacier and ice cap area. Snow accumulation on these glaciers is low and varies little from year to year. Changes in their surface mass balance are driven largely by changes in summer air temperatures, surface melting and runoff. Relative to 2000-2004, strong summer warming since 2005 (1.1 to 1.6C at 700 hPa) has increased summer mean ice surface temperatures and melt season length on the major ice caps in this region by 0.8 to 2.2C and 4.7 to 11.9 d respectively. 30-48% of the total mass lost from 4 monitored glaciers since 1963 has occurred since 2005. The mean rate of mass loss from these 4 glaciers between 2005 and 2009 (-493 kg m-2 a-1) was nearly 5 times greater than the 1963-2004 average. In 2007 and 2008, it was 7 times greater (-698 kg m -2 a-1). These changes are associated with a summer atmospheric circulation configuration that favors strong heat advection into the Queen Elizabeth Islands from the northwest Atlantic, where sea surface temperatures have been anomalously high. Copyright © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

Jensen B.J.L.,University of Alberta | Preece S.J.,University of Toronto | Lamothe M.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Pearce N.J.G.,Aberystwyth University | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary International

The Variegated (VT) tephra, likely sourced from the eastern Aleutian arc, has a geographic distribution that places it amongst the most widespread tephra beds in eastern Beringia. First identified in the Fairbanks area of interior Alaska, it has been identified at eight additional sites ranging from Togiak Bay in southwestern Alaska, to the Klondike area of west-central Yukon. Correlation of these occurrences is established through the equivalence of glass major and trace-element geochemistry, Fe-Ti oxide geochemistry, stratigraphy, and independent age data. In Yukon and Alaska, VT tephra has a minimum bulk tephra volume estimate of ∼32 km3. Previous age estimates for VT tephra have varied, ranging from a glass fission-track age of 125 ± 30 ka to a weighted mean thermoluminescence (TL) age of 77.8 ± 4.1 ka from bracketing ages on loess. A new infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) age of 106 ± 10 ka, paleoenvironmental data, and several TL and IRSL ages from Togiak Bay suggest that the time of deposition is more likely between these previous age estimates: post-marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e but underlying a prominent soil likely associated with MIS 5c, placing it within late MIS 5d. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Bull K.F.,354 College Rd | Anderson S.W.,University of Northern Colorado | Diefenbach A.K.,U.S. Geological Survey | Wessels R.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Henton S.M.,University of Alaska Fairbanks
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

After more than 8months of precursory activity and over 20 explosions in 12days, Redoubt Volcano, Alaska began to extrude the fourth and final lava dome of the 2009 eruption on April 4. By July 1 the dome had filled the pre-2009 summit crater and ceased to grow. By means of analysis and annotations of time-lapse webcam imagery, oblique-image photogrammetry techniques and capture and analysis of forward-looking infrared (FLIR) images, we tracked the volume, textural, effusive-style and temperature changes in near-real time over the entire growth period of the dome. The first month of growth (April 4-May 4) produced blocky intermediate- to high-silica andesite lava (59-62.3wt.% SiO2) that initially formed a round dome, expanding by endogenous growth, breaking the surface crust in radial fractures and annealing them with warmer, fresh lava. On or around May 1, more finely fragmented and scoriaceous andesite lava (59.8-62.2wt.% SiO2) began to appear at the top of the dome coincident with increased seismicity and gas emissions. The more scoriaceous lava spread radially over the dome surface, while the dome continued to expand from endogenous growth and blocky lava was exposed on the margins and south side of the dome. By mid-June the upper scoriaceous lava had covered 36% of the dome surface area. Vesicularity of the upper scoriaceous lava range from 55 to 66%, some of the highest vesicularity measurements recorded from a lava dome.We suggest that the stability of the final lava dome primarily resulted from sufficient fracturing and clearing of the conduit by preceding explosions that allowed efficient degassing of the magma during effusion. The dome was thus able to grow until it was large enough to exceed the magmastatic pressure in the chamber, effectively shutting off the eruption. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

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