2005-02-28

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-28 09:50

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift north-northwestward early in the day and northeastward later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Comparison of photographs from Friday’s gas flight with those taken a few days earlier shows that the west and east margins of the new lava dome are crumbling and that the smooth whaleback form is disintegrating. This process also occurred in December, after which the dome renewed the whaleback form after several weeks of extrusion. These periods of disintegration are accompanied by numerous rockfalls, which generate small ash clouds that drift out of the crater.



2005-02-27

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-27 10:45

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift north-northwestward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The volcano was clear early this morning and displayed a small vapor plume, but the crater is now obscured by clouds. As has become typical, several rockfalls were recorded by seismic instruments overnight. Other data suggest that the eruption continues in its steady-state manner.



2005-02-26

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-26 10:35

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift north-northwestward at low levels but west-soutwestward at higher levels (>20k) early in the day. Later in the day clouds at all levels would drift north-northwestward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The volcano is clear this morning and emitting almost no steam. Rockfalls from the dome continue and cause occasional plumes of ash, some of which rise above the rim. As the dome grows, such events are to be expected. A GPS package on the bulging east arm of the glacier continues its rapid (4 feet per day) trek northward at a strikingly linear pace. Preliminary analysis of data from yesterday’s gas flight shows no significant change of gas emissions from previous measurements.



2005-02-25

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-25 09:00


Posters for press conference
2005-Feb-25

Field work images 2005-Feb-22

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift north early in the day and northeastward later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Atmospheric conditions this morning are helping produce a strong steam plume that is rising above the volcano. Rockfalls from the dome continue and cause occasional plumes of ash, some of which rise above the rim. As the dome grows, such events are to be expected. When valley fog clears sufficiently, a crew will head out to measure volcanic gases. A GPS package on the bulging east arm of the glacier continues its rapid (4 feet per day) trek northward.



2005-02-24

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-24 09:00

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift north-northwestward early and northward later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Another large rockfall at about 3:30pm yesterday generated an ash plume that filled the western part of the crater and rose above the rim. On the basis of the seismic signal generated, it was probably similar in size to the one that occurred early Tuesday morning. Slabs of similar dimension are separating from the dome along widening cracks and will likely be sources of future such events. As the dome continues to grow, these types of events are to be expected. Field crews will measure volcanic gases again when winds are favorable, and in the coming weeks will deploy another instrument package on the new lava dome. A GPS package on the bulging east arm of the glacier continues its rapid (4 feet per day) trek northward.



2005-02-23

 

Latest News Reports



 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-23 10:30


Aerial views taken on 2005-Feb-22

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift westward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: A scar on the west side of the lava dome roughly 100 m long and 50 m high marks the source of the large rockfall event at 3 a.m. yesterday morning. Several slabs of similar dimension are separating from the dome along widening cracks and will likely be sources of future such events. The deposit from the rockfall forms an apron of large blocks at the northwest base of the dome. Yesterday field crews also dredged several samples from the surface of the lava dome using a helicopter. Photographs will be posted on our web site later this morning.

Update: 12:05

Added link to views


2005-02-22

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-22 09:00

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift westward to southwestward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Small collapses of hot rock from the south end of the growing lava dome sent several ash clouds upward and over the crater rim during the past 24 hours. Shortly after 3 a.m. this morning a seismic signal from such an event was accompanied by a bright glow that persisted on the VolcanoCam for about 15 minutes. The glow results from the collapse exposing hot, incandescent rock deeper in the dome. Crews are in the field today taking photographs and, wind conditions permitting, dredging rock samples from the lava dome.



2005-02-21

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-21 09:45

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift southwestward to southward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Yesterday afternoon, atmospheric conditions helped to create an impressive steam plume, but this morning there is only a minor amount of steam rising from several areas around the growing lava dome. Field work this coming week will focus on obtaining aerial photography for a new digital elevation model of the crater and lava dome and making other observations.



2005-02-20

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-20 10:15

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift in variable directions with time and altitude. Early clouds would drift lazily northward at low elevation, but east-northeastward at higher altitudes. Later, low-level clouds would drift lazily north-northwestward, but more southeastward at higher altitudes.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The crater is partly obscured by clouds this morning. A minor ash emission, much smaller than that of Friday afternoon, occurred yesterday morning. On the basis of seismicity, a similar event may have occurred early this morning. Further analysis of recent aerial photos reveals that as of February 1, the whaleback-shaped extrusion is about 1,550 feet long and 500 feet wide. The new dome and uplifted welt of crater floor and deformed glacier ice have grown to a combined volume of about 50 million cubic yards, almost one-half the volume of the old lava dome.



2005-02-19

 

News Report Update



 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-19 10:10

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift eastward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observation: Yesterday afternoon, a rockfall off the lava dome produced a widely visible ash plume that rose to a couple of thousand feet above the crater rim. Extensive cracking recently identified on the long, smooth, whaleback-shaped dome suggests that increased rockfall activity and similar small plumes may occur in the coming weeks. Analysis of recent aerial photos reveals that as of February 1, the high point on the whaleback reached to an altitude of 7,650 feet, nearly 1,400 feet above the 1980 crater floor and 500 feet above the top of the old lava dome. The top of the new dome is now only about 130 feet below the level of Shoestring Notch on the southeast crater rim and about 700 feet below the south crater rim.



2005-02-18

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-18 10:10


Aerial views taken on 2005-Feb-16

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift westward early in the day and northwestward later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The GPS unit deployed on the east arm of the crater glacier on Wednesday is moving northward at about 4 feet per day. This rapid rate of flow is consistent with the thickening of the glacier that has resulted from its compression between the growing lava dome and east crater wall. Results of Wednesday’s thermal-imaging flight suggest that a longitudinal crack is developing along the top of the new lava dome. Similar to what happened in mid-December, the long smooth whaleback-shaped dome may be starting to crack apart. During such a process, the probability of rock avalanches increases and with that an increased chance of more ash clouds rising above the crater rim than we’ve witnessed in recent weeks.



2005-02-17

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-17 09:20

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift westward to southwestward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Crews had a productive day in the field yesterday. Two GPS instruments were slung by helicopter onto the thickened and rapidly flowing eastern arm of the crater glacier for a week-long deployment. The perturbation of the glacier caused by ongoing lava-dome growth provides a unique natural laboratory for studying glacier mechanics. Data from the GPS instruments will provide critical flow-velocity measurements. A GPS and seismic station that had ridden on the lava dome for the past 8 days was retrieved, serviced, and redeployed to a spot just near the north end of the new lava dome. Thermal-imaging and observation flights were also conducted. This morning a diffuse ash plume is drifting over the west rim of the crater.



2005-02-16

 

USGS Photo Update


Views taken on 2005-Feb-16

These views are part of a series of annotated views taken from a variety of locations around Mt.St.Helens during various phases of the current eruption.



 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-16 09:40

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift southwestward early in the day, and follow a westward trajectory later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: Despite blustery winds around the volcano, conditions in the crater are calm. Crews have completed a thermal-imaging flight, and are now deploying temporary “spyder” packages (with GPS units) to track movement of the crater glacier. If all goes well, they will also retrieve the GPS package that sits on the new lava dome, modify it slightly, and redeploy it as a new station on the welt area between the new and old lava domes. If time and conditions permit, they may also remotely retrieve new rock samples.



2005-02-15

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-15 10:20


Views taken on 2005-Feb-10

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would have trajectories that vary with time and altitude. Early in the day, low-level ash clouds would drift slightly northwestward to mostly southward, but drift southeastward at higher altitudes. As the day progresses, low-level clouds would drift westward. At higher altitudes, clouds could drift slightly westward but would drift predominantly east-southeastward.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The volcano is clearly visible today and emitting a small plume of steam and perhaps minor amounts of ash. The GPS instrument on the new lava dome continues to move at a consistent rate of 6 meters per day. The movement is mostly southeastward, with an upward component of about one meter per day. Tomorrow, crews will deploy two temporary “spyder” packages (with GPS units) to track movement of the glacier, and will conduct a thermal-imaging flight.



2005-02-14

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-14 10:40

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift eastward early in the day and southeastward later.

Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, any ash clouds produced are unlikely to exceed 15,000 feet in altitude. Ashfall from such events rarely reaches more than 20 miles downwind. If the lava dome continues to grow over the next several months, it will become able to produce larger ash clouds that reach higher altitudes and extend farther downwind.

Recent observations: The volcano is again obscured by clouds this morning. The average rate of movement of the GPS instrument, which has been on the new lava dome since last Tuesday, is about 6 meters per day. The movement is mostly southeastward, with an upward component of about one meter per day.



2005-02-13

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-13 10:40

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: The volcano is again obscured by clouds this morning. Field plans for the coming week include a temporary deployment of two GPS spyders on the eastern portion of the crater glacier. That part of the glacier has been significantly thickened in the past few months as the growing welt and lava dome has shoved ice eastward. The result of this marked thickening and steepening has been an increased rate of flow of the glacier. Such rapid changes in glaciers are rare in nature and present a unique research opportunity for studying glacier mechanics. The GPS units will provide detailed information on the rate of flow.



2005-02-12

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-12 10:30

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northeastward.

Recent observations: The volcano is obscured by clouds this morning. Seismic and GPS data indicate no unusual events have occurred recently and that lava-dome extrusion continues at its typical pace.



2005-02-11

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-11 09:55

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northwestward early in the day, and shift to a northeastward drift as the afternoon progresses.

Recent observations: The volcano is clear this morning and emitting minor amounts of steam and occasional small plumes of ash. Yesterday, crews deployed a new spyder package (with GPS and a gas sensor) on the uplifted welt area north of the emerging lava dome, retrieved an older spyder unit that was no longer functioning, and measured the flow of water coming out of the crater. The water discharge was not unusual. Additional processing of gas measurements made Tuesday shows that gas emissions are unchanged from recent measurements. A spyder package deployed earlier this week near the top of the new lava dome continues to move upward about 1.5 meters per day and to the southeast about 5 meters per day, a bit more slowly than the last GPS deployed on the dome in mid-January.



2005-02-10

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-10 09:10


Views taken on 2005-Feb-08

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift in variable directions with altitude and as the day progresses. Early in the day, ash clouds at low altitude would drift chiefly west-northwestward, but at progressively higher altitudes they would drift slightly northward then mostly eastward. As the afternoon progresses, clouds at low altitude would drift mostly northward, but at progressively higher altitudes they would drift slightly northwestward to mostly southeastward.

Recent observations: We are taking advantage of good weather today to continue maintenance and repairs on instrumentation and communication stations. In addition, crews are exchanging a spyder (with GPS and seismic sensors) on the uplifted welt area immediately north of the emerging lava dome and attempting to collect some of the older spyder units that are no longer functioning.



2005-02-09

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-09 10:00

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northward at low altitudes and northeastward to eastward at higher altitudes.

Recent observations: Good weather yesterday provided excellent conditions for field work. A new spyder with GPS and seismic sensors was deployed by helicopter near the top of the new lava dome. Early results show that it is moving upward about 1.5 meters per day and to the southeast about 5 meters per day, a bit more slowly than the last GPS deployed on the dome in mid-January. Preliminary analysis of data from a gas-sensing flight yesterday suggests that gas emissions are unchanged from recent measurements. Other work involved repairs to a radio repeater and replacement of the small window through which the DomeCam obtains images. The DomeCam lies near the mouth of the crater and the old window had become scratched as a result of numerous cleanings of ash coatings. The cliff on the south end of the new lava dome is vertical to overhanging and generating rockfalls that are accompanied by small ash clouds.



2005-02-08

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-08 10:00

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift in variable directions with altitude and as the day progresses. Early in the day, ash clouds at low altitude would drift chiefly southwestward, but at progressively higher altitudes they would drift southeastward. As the afternoon progresses, clouds at low altitude would drift would drift westward, but at progressively higher altitudes they would drift slightly northwestward to mostly southeastward.

Recent observations: The volcano is clear this morning and emitting a moderate steam plume and an occasional small ash plume. Crews have headed to the field to sling a seismic and GPS instrument (spyder) onto the new lava dome, to conduct a gas-sensing flight, and to work on communications system maintenance.



2005-02-07

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-07 09:50

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift westward to southward early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: The volcano is clear this morning and displaying a moderate steam plume. No ash is visible on the new snow that fell in the crater during the past few days. A seismic event early this morning was accompanied by a period of glow on the VolcanoCam and likely represents a rockfall that exposed hotter lava below the cool crust of the lava dome. The lack of ash on the new snow suggests that the event did not produce appreciable ash, but some parts of the crater wall are obscured by steam and may have a slight dusting. Depending on weather conditions, we will be in the field tomorrow or Wednesday to sling a seismic and GPS instrument (spyder) onto the new lava dome and to conduct a gas-sensing flight.



2005-02-06

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-06 10:50

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim early today would drift eastward to east-southeastward. Later today any ash clouds would drift northward to northeastward at low altitudes and eastward to southeastward at higher altitudes.

Recent observations: The volcano is obscured by clouds this morning. Data from field sites indicate that no significant changes in patterns of seismicity or ground deformation have occurred during the past day.



2005-02-05

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-05 09:45


Aerial views taken on 2005-Feb-03

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift east-southeastward.

Recent observations: The volcano is again shrouded in clouds this morning. Seismicity continues at a rate similar to that of the past several weeks—a small (~M1-1.5) earthquake or two per minute. Next week when the weather improves, crews will again attempt to deploy an instrumentation package on the rapidly moving part of the new lava dome and conduct a gas-sensing flight.



2005-02-04

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-04 10:20

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift east-northeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Poor weather prevents visual contact with the volcano, and stormy weather is forecast for the next few days. Yesterday, field crews were able to conduct a thermal-imaging flight, complete repairs to a voice communication system, and bring a seismic communication link back online. However, lingering fog in town and continuous bursts of small ash clouds from the base of the lava dome prevented crews from installing a new spyder on the lava dome and measuring volcanic gases. For the week, crews successfully installed, repaired, and maintained GPS sites, seismic and voice communication links, and remote field cameras, and made critical visual observations.



2005-02-03

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-03 09:30

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Depending on how much time is available after the lowland fog clears, we will conduct thermal-imaging and gas-sensing flights, deploy by helicopter a GPS and seismic instrument package (“spyder”) on the new lava dome, and repair one of our radio repeaters. Yesterday, UNAVCO (Plate Boundary Observatory) and USGS personnel completed installation of a new GPS instrument high on the southwest flank. Six continuously operating GPS stations now encircle the upper flanks of the volcano and will track any ground deformation that occurs in response to pressure changes in the magmatic system at depth or to development of instabilities in the volcano’s flanks. Between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. (PST) yesterday afternoon, several small ash clouds rose from the lava dome, cleared the rim, and drifted eastward. They were visible from Vancouver and were well recorded by the VolcanoCam.



2005-02-02

 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-02 10:00


Aerial views taken on 2005-Feb-01

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift eastward.

Recent observations: Several crews worked in the field yesterday. Installation of one continuous GPS station on the south flank was completed and installation of another on the southwest flank was started by UNAVCO and USGS personnel. An existing GPS station on the upper west flank was repaired, as was the DomeCam at the mouth of the crater. Geologists got good views and photographs of the crater and new lava dome and vertical aerial photographs were obtained from which a new digital elevation model (DEM) will be created. Extrusion of the new lava dome continues. Weather permitting tomorrow we will deploy by helicopter a new GPS and seismic instrument package (“spyder”) on the new lava dome and conduct a thermal-imaging flight.



2005-02-01

 

Latest News Reports



 

USGS Update 2005-Feb-01 08:10


Aerial views taken on 2005-Jan-30

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that ash clouds that rise above the crater rim today would drift northeast in the morning, shifting to eastward in the afternoon.

Recent observations: The USFS webcam showed clear skies and good but slightly unfocused views into the crater at 07:23 a.m. (PST). No steam was visible, but seismicity continues apace. (Data from our GPS receiver on the new dome has been interrupted recently.) Field plans for today include the installation of two new GPS stations on the west and south flanks, repairs at the north-side SugarBowl camera, and crater-observation overflights. Ground fog at local airports may delay the launch of these activities. Yesterday, colleagues from the University of Memphis completed station maintenance at several seismometers installed around the volcano as part of collaborative research into the seismicity of the current eruption.



Standard USGS Update

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.)

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