Possible Alaska volcano eruption poses aviation risk

02/3/2009 | CNN

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory are using data gathered from daily airplane flights over Mount Redoubt, along with information from other sensors, to try to determine whether and when the volcano is going to blow. The volcano, located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, is expected to erupt within days or weeks, and while there is no direct danger from lava flows, enormous clouds of ash could pose a danger to the state's many airplane owners. "It's a very severe hazard because jet engines run at a very high temperature," says geologist Michelle Coombs. "And once that silica-rich ash gets ingested into the engine, it can remelt and coat the insides of the engines and freeze up those engines."

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