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Tuesday Tidbits: Chaiten webcam, Soufriere Hills images and should airlines pay for ash monitoring?

News bits from Chaiten, Soufriere Hills, Shiveluch and Alaska legislators wondering if airlines should pay for ash monitoring.

Not a lot of big news, but a lot of little news:

Soufriere Hills at night during the late January 2010 dome growth episode. Note the hot rock falls from the collapsing dome. Image courtesy of Photovolcanica.

  • This might not be new, but Dr. Boris Behncke brought the new webcam at the rim of Chaiten in Chile to my attention. You get a birds-eye view of the growing dome from the edge of the caldera – pretty nifty view for a once-in-a-hundred-years sort of event.
  • The NASA Earth Observatory has posted a close-up of the Soufriere Hills imagethat I posted yesterday, showing the February 11 plume. The plume was caused by a collapse of ~10-20% of the summit dome – yes, it only took a small portion of the dome to collapse to create an explosion like that! If you want to see some more stunning images of Soufriere Hills’ activity this year, check out the collection on Photovolcanica.
  • Another great NASA EO shot have Shiveluch showing off either lava flows or lahars coming down the flanks of the volcano and an impressive steam plume. You can compare this new shot taken on February 13 to one from December 18 of last year.
  • In news that could be interpreted in many ways, state legislators in Alaska are wondering if commercial passenger and cargo airlines should be kicking in money to help pay for the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Although it makes aesthetic sense, it is a slippery slope to start privately funding offices for the public good. If you are in Fairbanks tonight, you can check out a talk by Dr. Michael West on forecasting volcanic eruptions.

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