Redoubt Volcano, Drift River

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Redoubt Volcano, Drift River

by | Jan 29, 2020

Redoubt Volcano has an elevation of 10,197 feet (3,109 m) and is located in the Aleutian Range on the Alaska Peninsula, 9 miles (14.5 km) northeast of Crescent Lake and 52 miles (84 km) west of Kenai, Alaska. The name is a translation of the Russian name “Sopka Redutskaya” first reported in 1852 by Mikhail Tebenkov who was a hydrographer for the Imperial Russian Navy. According to Constantin Grewingk in 1850, the native name “Ujakushatsch” also means “fortified place” but it is difficult to determine if one name is derived from the other. Tebenkov reported that the volcano erupted in 1778.

The Drift River oil terminal was built at the base of Mount Redoubt near Cook Inlet, Alaska. The oil terminal is a tank farm that holds crude oil before it is loaded onto oil tankers and transported to refineries. It is located at the terminus of the Drift River on the historic floodplain of nearby Redoubt Volcano. The facility is owned and operated by Cook Inlet Pipeline Company, a Houston-based corporation owned by Hilcorp Energy Company. Oil is collected into the tanks via the submerged Cook Inlet Pipeline that connects the tank farm to the oil fields on the west side of Cook Inlet. The Drift River oil terminal will eventually be dismantled after oil starts flowing through a newly configured pipeline system.

Redoubt had a major eruption on December 14, 1989, and the terminal at Drift River was jeopardized by volcanic ash and mudflows called lahars. KLM Flight 867, a Boeing 747, flew through the ash cloud and all 4 engines failed. Concerns for a major oil spill at the tank farm were renewed during another eruption in 2009 but dikes built after the 1989-1990 eruptions kept flooding away from the oil tanks. Read more here and here. Explore more of Drift River here.

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