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.

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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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