2005-04-07

 

USGS Update 2005-Apr-07 09:30


Aerial views taken on 20045-Apr-06

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 early in the day and northeastward later.

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.

Recent observations: Field crews took advantage of yesterday afternoon’s clear conditions to make visual and thermal-sensing observations and to sling several new instruments into the crater by helicopter. As suspected from the pattern of seismicity and brief observations during the past couple of weeks, the smooth whaleback portion of the growing lava dome is now broken by numerous fractures and the edges have crumbled greatly. Several deep gashes on the east, north, and west sides frequently produce rockfalls and accompanying ash clouds. At least one ash cloud yesterday rose above the crater rim and drifted downwind dusting the new snow. Two of the instrument sites destroyed in the 8 March explosion were replaced. Sites on the northeast and south flanks of the old lava dome now each have two new spiders, one seismic and one GPS.

Update: 10:48 — Added link to photos





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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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