Thursday, April 8, 2010

Swarm of Small Quakes Occurring at Alaska Volcano

clipped from

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A swarm of small earthquakes began Monday at a volcano near Anchorage in what scientists said was a warning that Mount Redoubt could be waking from its slumber.

"It is reminding us that it is an active volcano," said Rick Wessels, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage.

The swarm of small quakes started early in the day near the summit of Mount Redoubt, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, with a regular pattern often seen when magma is moving inside a volcano, Wessels said.

Last year, the volcano rumbled and grumbled for months before exploding on Jan. 26, at times producing huge ash plumes and sending mud flows down its flanks. It finally quieted in late September, but there was a similar episode of increased seismic activity in December.

Wessels said the current earthquakes were not connected to Sunday's magnitude-7.2 quake in Mexico just south of the U.S. border.

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