2005-05-31

 

USGS Update 2005-May-31 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 east-southeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Both the VolcanoCam at Johnston Ridge Observatory and our USGS DomeCam near the mouth of the crater are in the clouds this morning. Unobstructed views of the dome over the next few days are not likely given current weather forecasts. Seismicity remains at a relatively low level with small quakes occurring about every 4 to 6 minutes, some of which indicate continued rockfall from the dome. The GPS unit on the older part of the new dome near the vent continues to translate southward at slightly more than 6 inches per day, eastward at about 18 inches per day, and to rise vertically a few inches per day.



2005-05-30

 

USGS Update 2005-May-30 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 southward to southeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: The VolcanoCam at Johnston Ridge Observatory is in the clouds this morning, but the DomeCam, which is located near the crater mouth, shows a moderate vapor plume rising from the growing lava dome and drifting over the south crater rim. This is yet another example of meteorological conditions that favor condensation of the warm, moist air in the crater as it rises and cools. If the low clouds in the valleys clear, tourists at JRO and those of us in the metropolitan area may see the vapor plume.



2005-05-29

 

USGS Update 2005-May-29 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 broadly west to southwestward early in the day, and broadly south to southeastward later in the day.

Recent observations: The spine of lava continues to emerge from the north end of the new dome and shed occasional rockfalls. A GPS unit on the older part of the new dome near the vent continues to move laterally at a rate of about 1.5 feet per day, and rise vertically at a rate of about 4 inches per day, showing that north end of the dome continues to inflate slightly. Overall, the volcano remains relatively quiet. This morning, the view of the volcano is obscured by clouds.



2005-05-28

 

USGS Update 2005-May-28 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 broadly north and west early in the day, and broadly southwestward to southeastward later. Under these conditions, Johnston Ridge, Coldwater, and the eastern parts of State Route 504 could all receive fallout from any ash clouds produced by explosions or large rockfalls.

Recent observations: The spine of lava continues to emerge from the north end of the new dome and shed occasional rockfalls. A GPS unit on the older part of the new dome near the vent continues to move laterally at a rate of about 1 foot per day, and rise vertically at a rate of about 4 inches per day, showing that north end of the dome continues to inflate slightly. Overall, the volcano remains relatively quiet.



2005-05-27

 

USGS Update 2005-May-27 10:00


Views taken on 2005-May-24/26

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 to northward. However, later in the day, higher-altitude clouds would drift north-northeastward. Under these conditions, Johnston Ridge, Coldwater, and the eastern parts of State Route 504 could all receive fallout from any ash clouds produced by explosions or large rockfalls.

Recent observations: Analysis of a digital elevation model produced from aerial photographs taken on 19 April shows that the new lava dome had reached a volume of 47.5 million cubic meters (about 62 million cubic meters). We have changed the method by which we compute the volume of the dome, so this figure isn’t directly comparable to results we’ve given in the past (by the older method the new volume is about 55 million cubic meters). The rate of addition of lava to the dome remains roughly constant at about 1.5 cubic meters (2 cubic yards) per second.



2005-05-26

 

USGS Update 2005-May-26 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 will have trajectories that vary with time and altitude. Early in the day, most clouds would drift west-northwestward to northward. Later in the day, clouds would drift along a north-northwestward to north-northeastward trajectory. Under these conditions, Johnston Ridge, Coldwater, and Highway 504 could all receive fallout from an ash cloud.

Recent observations: Lava extrusion continues at the north end of the new lava dome, while the high spines continue to crumble and other parts of the lava dome move at relatively low velocities (about one foot per day) or remain stagnant. Weather permitting, field crews will make further observations tomorrow.



2005-05-25

 

USGS Photo Update


Views taken on 2005-May-24

Some new photos taken of the new lava dome on 2005-May-24 and earlier.



 

USGS Update 2005-May-25 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 westward at low altitude. Higher-altitude clouds would drift southeastward early in the day and westward later.

Recent observations: Yesterday field crews placed a new GPS spider on the growing lava dome and collected rock samples. Crews also repaired several seismic stations and radio repeaters. Lava extrusion continues at the north end of the new lava dome, while the high spines continue to crumble and other parts of the lava dome move at relatively low velocities (about one foot per day) or remain stagnant. It is not possible to put a GPS spider on the north end of the dome, which is the mostly rapidly moving part, because it is too steep.



2005-05-24

 

USGS Update 2005-May-24 08:00

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 east-southeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity and ground deformation continue at rates similar to those of the past few weeks. Several crews are headed to the field to make visual observations, to collect samples, to place a GPS-spider on the growing lava dome, and to perform several maintenance chores to seismic and radio-telemetry sites.



2005-05-23

 

USGS Update 2005-May-23 09:15

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 east-northeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity and ground deformation continue at rates similar to those of the past few weeks. The clear weather forecast for this week should permit several days of field work. We hope to make thermal and visual observations, collect samples, place one or more GPS-spiders on the growing lava dome, and perform maintenance chores.



2005-05-22

 

USGS Update 2005-May-22 11:00


Dome view taken 2005-May-21

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: We obtained several clear views yesterday morning on the DomeCam at the crater mouth that we can compare with the last clear views that we obtained on 13 May. The two spiny features at north end (vent end) of the dome appear conspicuously higher, but narrower as the fractured lava crumbles off the steep sides. Seismicity and ground deformation continue at rates similar to those of the past few weeks.



2005-05-21

 

USGS Update 2005-May-21 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 eastward early and shift to a more east-northeastward trajectory later.

Recent observations: After days of rain and clouds, the mountain has emerged from the mist and the crater is clear. Over the next few days viewing conditions should improve markedly and permit field work early next week. There has been no significant change in seismicity or movement of GPS sensors in the crater over the past several days. Today CVO is hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come meet us and learn about what we do. Directions are available on our web site.



2005-05-20

 

USGS Update 2005-May-20 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 early and shift to a more east-northeastward trajectory later.

Recent observations: The stormy and cloudy weather continues to obscure the volcano, but viewing conditions will hopefully improve over the weekend and permit field work early next week. The volcano remains relatively quiet with small (M1 or smaller) quakes occurring about every 3 to 6 minutes. However, a moderate size earthquake (~M2.3) occurred yesterday at 12:36pm. CVO will be hosting an open house tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Come meet us and learn about what we do. Directions are available on our web site.



2005-05-19

 

USGS Update 2005-May-19 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 northeastward.

Recent observations: The stormy and cloudy weather continues to obscure the volcano, but viewing conditions will hopefully improve over the weekend and permit field work early next week. Monitoring systems show no changes in seismicity or ground deformation. CVO will be hosting an open house this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Come meet us and learn about what we do. Directions are available on our web site.



 

Latest News Reports



2005-05-18

 

USGS Update 2005-May-18 08:32


Remote views taken 2005-May-12/14

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-northeastward. Under such wind conditions, Johnston Ridge Observatory and other areas near the east end of SR 504 could receive ash fall if there were an ash-producing event.

Recent observations: Although seismicity and ground deformation in the crater remain at relatively low rates, the volcano marks the 25th anniversary of its major 1980 eruption in a state of active eruption. It is building a second lava dome in its crater. However, clouds and rain obscure views of the volcano, and likely will do so for a few more days. The weather forecast for the next few days suggests that snow will be accumulating on the crater floor and upper flanks.



 

Latest News Updates



 

Special Report in The Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian

The Vancouver (Wash.) Columbian has run a series of articles entitled Mount St. Helens: 25th Anniversary, on the 1980-May-18 eruption of Mt.St.Helens—



2005-05-17

 

USGS Update 2005-May-17 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 eastward early in the day and northward to northeastward later. Under such wind conditions later in the day, Johnston Ridge Observatory and other areas near the east end of SR 504 could receive ash fall if there were an ash-producing event.

Recent observations: Another cloudy day obscures views of the volcano. The weather forecast for the next few days suggests that snow will be accumulating on the crater floor and upper flanks. Seismicity and ground deformation in the crater remain at relatively low rates, but lava extrusion probably continues to build the spine at the north end of the new lava dome.



2005-05-16

 

USGS Photo Update


Rockfall on 2005-May-12

Remote camera views of a rockfall that occurred on 2005-May-12, and some other new views.



 

USGS Update 2005-May-16 09:15

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 north-northeastward at low altitude and northeastward to east-northeastward at higher altitudes early in the day. Later in the day, any ash clouds would drift eastward.

Recent observations: The volcano is again obscured by clouds. Seismicity and ground deformation in the crater remain at relatively low rates, but lava extrusion probably continues to build the spine at the north end of the new lava dome. As we’ve witnessed in recent weeks, the steep spine is subject to rockfalls and avalanches of hot lava that can generate ash clouds.



2005-05-15

 

Latest News Reports



 

Special Report in The Portland Oregonian

With the 25th anniversary of the 1980 eruption this week,The Portland Oregonian (and Associated Press) has published a number of article on Mt.St.Helens:



 

USGS Update 2005-May-15 11:00

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 northeastward. Later in the day, any lower altitude ash clouds would drift eastward.

Recent observations: Views of the volcano have been few in recent days owing to clouds and rain, a pattern that is forecast to continue through much of the coming week. Seismicity and ground deformation in the crater show no changes overnight.



2005-05-14

 

USGS Update 2005-May-14 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 northeastward. Under such wind conditions, State Route 504, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, and Johnston Ridge Observatory should generally be spared any potential fallout from an ash plume.

Recent observations: Overall seismicity and ground deformation in the crater continue their relatively placid patterns established over the past few weeks. Rockfalls and associated minor ash plumes can be expected from the spine as it continues its predominantly vertical growth.



2005-05-13

 

USGS Update 2005-May-13 09:50


Remote view taken on 2005-May-12

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 chiefly east early in the day, and east-northeastward later. Under such wind conditions, State Route 504, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, and Johnston Ridge Observatory should generally be spared any potential fallout from an ash plume.

Recent observations: Overall seismicity and ground deformation in the crater continue their relatively placid patterns established over the past few weeks. However, a couple of larger earthquakes (up to M2.5) were associated with rockfall collapses off the new spine. At about 1pm yesterday, a large piece of the spine collapsed and generated a small ash flow that deposited debris on the west arm of the glacier, and a plume that rose above the crater and drifted east-northeast. Another pair of rockfalls occurred about 10:35pm. Crews yesterday obtained thermal images and new photographs of the dome, conducted an extensive media interview at the mountain, and were on hand to witness the 1pm rockfall and ash plume.



 

News Report Update



2005-05-12

 

News Report Update



 

USGS Update 2005-May-12 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 chiefly east-northeastward. Under such wind conditions, State Route 504, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, and Johnston Ridge Observatory should generally be spared any potential fallout from an ash plume.

Recent observations: The view from the VolcanoCam at JRO is again obscured by clouds, but the mountain is clear. Images from our camera at the mouth of the crater show continued growth of the new spine of lava at the north end of the dome. Data from seismic and GPS instruments in the crater and on the outer flanks of the volcano show no significant changes from readings of the past few weeks. Today, crews will be in the field making observations, gathering photographs and thermal images, servicing GPS and communications systems, and providing pooled media interviews on the mountain.



2005-05-11

 

USGS Update 2005-May-11 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 chiefly south-southwestward. Under such wind conditions, State Route 504, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, and Johnston Ridge Observatory would generally be spared any potential fallout from an ash plume.

Recent observations: Although the view from the VolcanoCam at JRO is obscured by clouds, the mountain is clear. Images from a camera at the mouth of the crater show the new spine of lava at the north end of the dome continuing to grow. Data from seismic and GPS instruments in the crater and on the outer flanks of the volcano show no significant changes from readings of the past few weeks, although yesterday evening (~7pm) there was a slightly larger than usual (M2+) earthquake. Overall, the lava is able to emerge from the ground easily, and it is effectively decoupled from its surroundings. Weather permitting, we will have crews out tomorrow making observations and gathering photographs and thermal images.



2005-05-10

 

USGS Update 2005-May-10 08:45

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 chiefly south-southwestward, but early in the day at low altitudes winds would carry any ash clouds more south-southeasterly. Under such wind conditions, State Route 504, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, and Johnston Ridge Observatory would generally be spared any potential fallout from an ash plume.

Recent observations: The crater and growing lava dome remain obscured by clouds. Data from seismic and GPS instruments in the crater and on the outer flanks of the volcano show no significant changes from readings of the past few weeks. When the weather improves, crews will conduct observation flights to check on the status of the growing dome.



2005-05-09

 

USGS Update 2005-May-09 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 in the day and northeastward at low altitude and northwestward at higher altitude later. Under such wind conditions, the eastern portion of State Route 504, including Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center and Johnston Ridge Observatory, could be downwind from the crater and in the path of potential ash plumes.

Recent observations: The crater and growing lava dome remain obscured by clouds. Data from seismic and GPS instruments in the crater and on the outer flanks of the volcano show no significant changes from readings of the past few weeks.



2005-05-08

 

USGS Update 2005-May-08 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 northward to north-northwestward. Under such wind conditions, the eastern portion of State Route 504, including Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center and Johnston Ridge Observatory, are downwind from the crater and would be in the path of potential ash plumes.

Recent observations: The crater and growing lava dome remain obscured by clouds. Data from seismic and GPS instruments in the crater and on the outer flanks of the volcano show no significant changes from readings of the past few weeks.



2005-05-07

 

USGS Update 2005-May-07 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 north-northeastward to northeastward.

Recent observations: The crater and growing lava dome remain obscured by clouds. There has been no change in the pattern of seismicity and ground deformation from that of recent days.



2005-05-06

 

News Report Update



 

News Report Update



 

USGS Update 2005-May-06 09:15


Aerial views taken on 2005-May-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 southward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: A volcano obscured by clouds is greeting the opening of Johnston Ridge Observatory today, and the forecast for the next several days is not encouraging. The volcano remains relatively quiet, with small (~ M1 or less) earthquakes occurring about every 3 to 6 minutes. GPS units located near, but not on, the new dome are moving very little, whereas the whaleback-shaped spine of lava at the north end of the new dome continues to emerge at a rate of about 2 to 3 meters per day.



2005-05-05

 

USGS Update 2005-May-05 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 to north-northeastward early in the day and southward at low altitude and north-northeastward at higher altitudes later in the day.

Recent observations: Much of the crater is obscured by clouds this morning, but the VolcanoCam detected intermittent glow from the growing lava dome through much of the night. VolcanoCam viewers have noted a small persistent bright spot that has been visible for the past several nights on the outer northwest flank of the volcano. We believe that the spot originates in the video camera and is not a hot spot. There is no sign of steaming or unusual melting of snow in that area, both of which would be expected with an intense heat source. Seismic- and ground-deformation activity remains unchanged. Johnston Ridge Observatory opens tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.



2005-05-04

 

USGS Update 2005-May-04 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 northeastward.

Recent observations: Yesterday’s good weather allowed field crews to obtain thermal and visual observations of the growing lava dome and to resurvey some targets that were placed on the dome two weeks ago. All data suggest that lava extrusion continues at a rate similar to that of recent months, even though the rate of seismic activity has declined somewhat over the past few weeks. We infer that this is the result of the recent breakup of the long whaleback-shaped spine that was being pushed southward and upward by extruding lava since late January. Under current conditions, the extruding lava is beginning to form a new, but much smaller, whaleback-shaped spine that is evidently easier to push. Therefore the accompanying seismicity is much less intense.



2005-05-03

 

USGS Update 2005-May-03 10:30


Views taken in last week

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 northeastward later.

Recent observations: The volcano is clear this morning and we hope to make thermal-imaging and visual observations and resurvey some targets that were placed on the new lava dome last month. Rates of seismicity and ground deformation remain unchanged as lava-dome growth continues. We discovered an error in the update of April 23 that gave the March 10 volume of the new lava dome and area of uplift as 62 million cubic yards. The correct volume on that date was 58 million cubic yards (45 million cubic meters). The highest point on the new dome was about 7675 feet, which was more than 500 feet above the top of the old lava dome. Since then, the dome has gone through a period of disintegration and spreading as it continues to increase in volume, so the high point is probably now somewhat lower.



2005-05-02

 

USGS Update 2005-May-02 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 to east-northeastward.

Recent observations: Rates of seismicity and ground deformation remain unchanged as lava-dome growth continues. The weather forecast for the coming week appears unsettled, so field plans are currently on hold. Hopefully good viewing weather will accompany Friday’s opening of Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.



2005-05-01

 

USGS Update 2005-May-01 10:25

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 principally eastward.

Recent observations: The volcano’s crater is partly obscured by clouds this morning, but it should clear off later. As has been the case for many days, the volcano remains relatively quiet. Seismicity remains at the recent typical level of one small earthquake (~ M1) every few minutes with smaller events occurring more frequently. Yet, a lava spine continues to emerge at the north end of the dome. Weather permitting, crews will be out this coming week to resurvey targets on the dome and collect aerial and thermal images.



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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