Mount Redoubt still hadn't blown its stack as of Sunday evening, but some awesome stuff was happening high atop the restless volcano. 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. Redoubt could explode at any time -- or take its sweet time and keep us in suspense for days or weeks. It also could simmer down and never erupt, though the chances of that are lower. If it does blow, Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula could be showered with ash. Volcanologists detected a sizeable quake at 5:37 a.m. Sunday with characteristics suggesting the movement of underground fluids.
Image Above: FRAN DURNER / Anchorage Daily News
Redoubt Volcano appears sandwiched between two cloud layers across Cook Inlet in this sunset view from Upper DeArmoun Road Feb. 1, 2009.