Scientists edge closer to predicting volcanic eruptions
from The Seattle Times
Scientists monitoring Mount St. Helens got a lot of things right over the past month, as they scrambled to figure out what the restless volcano would do.
They said lava would probably reach the surface, and it did. They said not to expect anything like the catastrophic eruption of May 18, 1980, and so far, all of the outbursts have been modest.
Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continues, accompanied by low rates of
seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. During such eruptions,
episodic changes in the level of activity can occur over days to months. The eruption could also intensify
suddenly or with little warning and produce explosions that cause hazardous conditions within several miles of
the crater and farther downwind. Small lahars could suddenly descend the Toutle River if triggered by heavy rain
or by interaction of hot rocks with snow and ice. These lahars pose a negligible hazard below the Sediment
Retention Structure (SRS) but could pose a hazard along the river channel upstream.
Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, small, short-lived
explosions may produce ash clouds that exceed 30,000 feet in altitude. Ash from such events can travel
100 miles or more downwind.
The U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Washington continue to monitor the situation
closely and will issue additional updates and changes in alert level as warranted.
My intent with this page is to provide a clearning house for links to the current activity at Mt.St.Helens.
Please send me any links of interest that you may come across, whether for permanent sites or for news reports.
I'm not going to be able to do this all alone and all help will be appreciated.
(Disclaimer I have no association with anyone or any organization, and speak only for myself. Links and
quotes are provided for information only.)