2005-08-31

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-31 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 east-southeasterly.

Recent observations: Images from the Sugarbowl camera this morning show continued growth of the new dome as well as continued westwards slumping of the complex of lobes erupted since 2004. Seismicity and deformation trends within the crater remain unchanged over the last 24 hours, and the growing new lava dome continues to shed occasional rockfalls. Precipitation from storms the last two days should keep crater wall rockfalls to a minimum today, but as the crater dries out over the next several days they will likely increase. Weather permitting crews will work at the volcano today, with field plans including gas measurements, visitation of several GPS sites, continued geologic mapping, maintenance of a digital camera on the south rim and selection of an additional camera site on the west rim, and work on several hydrologic stations.



2005-08-30

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-30 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 southeastwards.

Recent observations: Images from the Sugarbowl camera show continued growth of the new dome as well as continued westwards slumping of the complex of lobes erupted since 2004. Seismicity and deformation within the crater remained unchanged over the last 24 hours, and the growing new lava dome continues to shed occasional rockfalls. Weather permitting crews will work at the volcano tomorrow, primarily focusing on gas measurements.



2005-08-29

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-29 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.

Recent observations: Clouds obscure the crater from view this morning. Seismicity and deformation within the crater remained unchanged over the last 24 hours, and the growing new lava dome continues to shed rockfalls.



2005-08-28

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-28 10:10


Views from Crater Rim Camera

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: Rockfalls from the west crater wall and new lava dome are producing dusty conditions in the crater today. As the newest lava spine emerges, continued slumping of older parts of the dome contributes to the spate of larger earthquakes that punctuate the low level of background seismicity. Overnight, a couple of quakes larger than M2 occurred.



2005-08-26

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-26 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 northeastward early and east-northeastward later.

Recent observations: Winds are again stirring dust and ash in the crater and creating a stream of dust that is being carried northeast of the volcano. Seismicity remains at very low levels, and camera imagery shows that the central part of the new dome continues to sag and slump as the newest spine continues to grow. Today, crews are in the field measuring streamflow from the crater, servicing mudflow warning sensors, retrieving seismic data from self-recording seismometers, and continuing with geologic mapping of the volcano.



2005-08-25

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-25 09:15

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

Recent observations: Seismicity at the volcano remains very low, and the lava dome continues to shed rockfalls. Due to very dry conditions and winds, there is a tremendous amount of resuspended ash in the air today that is being carried northwest of the volcano for tens of miles. No helicopter-supported fieldwork will be done today, but field crews continue mapping the geology of the volcano.



2005-08-24

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-24 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 southward to south-southeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity at the volcano remains very low, and the lava dome continues to shed rockfalls. Tomorrow, field crews plan to continue mapping the geology of the volcano, conduct routine servicing of gaging stations and mudflow warning systems, and retrieve data from an array of broadband seismometers deployed at the mountain.



2005-08-23

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-23 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 southeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity at the volcano remains very low. Moderate to large earthquakes (as large as M3) occasionally punctuate a background of small earthquakes (less than M1) that occur about every 10-15 minutes. Images from cameras placed at the crater mouth and on the crater rim show that the formerly active area of the dome continues to sag and collapse, and is pushing the newly active spine westward. The active spine continues to grow and spawn rockfalls. Today, field crews are finishing a seismic experiment, moving GPS stations on the flanks of the volcano, and continuing to map the geology of the volcano’s flanks.



2005-08-22

 

USGS Photo Update


Views taken on 2005-Aug-16—22
A variety of views taken during the past week.



 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-22 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 east-northeastward early in the day and east-southeastward later.

Recent observations: Growth of the lava dome continues to spawn rockfalls, which produce ash plumes that can rise above the rim. A large rockfall at 8:56pm Sunday generated a bright glow of hot rock and a thick ash plume that temporarily affected radio transmissions from instruments in the crater. Seismicity and deformation within the crater have remained largely the same over the past few days.



2005-08-21

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-21 11:30

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 northeasterly.

Recent observations: Early morning pictures from the Sugarbowl camera indicate that dome growth continues, with continued slumping of the middle part of the new dome complex and primarily westwards motion of the latest lava spine located at the western edge of the complex. Over the last week seismicity levels have gradually dropped from an earthquake every 5-10 minutes to one every 10-20 minutes. No significant changes in seismicity or deformation have occurred over the last 24 hours. A portion of the spine fell this morning generating a rock fall signal at 0818 PDT. On Monday, weather permitting, field crews will retrieve the temporary seismic instruments that were installed late last week, service GPS instruments, replace a camera on the east crater rim, and do geologic mapping on the upper flanks.



2005-08-20

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-20 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 northeasterly.

Recent observations: Early morning pictures from the Sugarbowl camera indicate that dome growth continues, with continued slumping of the middle part of the new dome complex and westwards as well as vertical motion of the latest lava spine located at the western edge of the complex. Over the last week seismicity levels have gradually dropped from an earthquake every 5-10 minutes to one every 10-20 minutes. No other significant changes in seismicity or deformation have occurred over the last 24 hours. A rockfall yesterday evening at 1925 PDT created a small ash cloud that rose over the rim and was briefly visible from the Portland area before it rapidly dissipated to the northeast. Yesterday field crews installed more temporary seismic instruments in the northern part of the crater floor, repositioned several GPS spider stations on the western lobe of the crater glacier, recovered ash samples out of an ash spider placed on the southern side of the old dome, grabbed new rock samples from near the vent, and did geologic mapping along the flanks.



2005-08-19

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-19 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 north-northwesterly in the early part of the day, transitioning to east-northeasterly by this evening.

Recent observations: Observers at Coldwater reported seeing an intense glow and vertical column over the space of several minutes at ~9:20 pm PDT last night, corresponding with two rockfall signals recorded by seismometers at 9:20 and 9:27 pm. Another rockfall was associated with a M 2.9 earthquake at 10:49pm PDT. Pictures from the Sugarbowl camera show that the new lava spine continues to grow and steepen with the formerly active spine continuing to sag and collapse, a scenario ripe for continued production of rockfalls and associated ash plumes and (at night) light shows. Seismic and ground-deformation data indicate that no significant changes have occurred in the level of activity over the last 24 hours. Yesterday field crews installed several temporary seismic instruments on the flanks and north end of the crater floor, repositioned several GPS stations, and did geologic mapping along the flanks. Weather permitting crews today will install more temporary seismometers, continue geologic mapping efforts, attempt to move several GPS spiders, and acquire rock samples from the new lava spine.



2005-08-18

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-18 10:40

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

Recent observations: Seismicity and extrusion rates continue at roughly the levels of the past few days, with the largest earthquakes of the past 24 hours between magnitudes 1 and 2. Despite the overcast conditions in the Portland area, weather is partly cloudy to sunny at the volcano. Yesterday’s wet weather increased the moisture in the crater and caused some periodic steaming of the old lava dome that was visible on the volcanocam this morning. Field crews working on the flanks of the volcano are conducting routine GPS geodetic surveys and running seismic experiments.



2005-08-17

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-17 10:10

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

Recent observations: Two more relatively large earthquakes have occurred—a M2.8 at 3am and a M2.7 at about 9am. The mountain is shrouded in clouds this morning, but recent images from the camera at the mouth of the crater show that as the new lava spine grows, the area of the formerly active spine is sagging and collapsing. The earthquakes are likely associated chiefly with that collapse. Except for these occasional larger quakes, seismicity and deformation remain largely the same as in the past several days. Later this week, weather permitting, field crews will get out to make visual observations. A time-lapse movie showing recent growth and collapse of the lava dome is posted on the USGS website.



2005-08-16

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-16 09:10


Nighttime timelapse taken 2005-Aug-12

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

Recent observations: Occasional large quakes and associated rockfalls continue to occur, the most recent (~M3) at 8:52 this morning. Ash plumes associated with rockfalls typically rise above the rim and quickly dissipate. Otherwise, seismicity and deformation remain largely the same as in the past several days. Analysis of a digital elevation model from July shows that the volume of the new dome is about 58 million cubic meters (76 million cubic yards), almost 75 percent of the volume of the 1980s lava dome. The new dome continues to grow at a rate of about 1.3 cubic meters per second (almost 2 cubic yards per second).



2005-08-15

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-15 10:45

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

Recent observations: There have been no significant changes in seismicity or ground deformation during the past few days. One consequence of the current westward growth of the new lava dome and its broad apron of rock debris is that the west arm of the glacier, which thus far has been much less severely affected than the east arm, is now being pushed northwestward and the glacier surface is beginning to rise and fracture.



2005-08-14

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-14 10:45

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds rising above the crater rim today would drift broadly southward at low altitudes and south-southeastward at higher altitudes.

Recent observations: Conditions remain largely unchanged from those of the past few days—frequent small earthquakes and occasional larger ones, as well as rockfalls accompanied by minor ash clouds from the growing lava spine. Repeat photographs from the DomeCam shows that the lava spine is moving slightly westward and, in response, the adjacent northeastern part of the new dome is sagging slightly toward it.



2005-08-13

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-13 09:45


Infrared and aerial views taken on 2005-Aug-10

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

Recent observations: Another large (M3.2) earthquake occurred at 6:10pm yesterday. The quake generated a small rockfall and associated ash plume. Images from a camera at the mouth of the crater show that the new lava spine continues to emerge from the ground at a rate of several meters per day. To clarify a point made yesterday, although measured volcanic gases are down slightly since the last measurement in July, the change is insignificant. Thus there has been no substantive change in levels of gases recently emitted by the volcano.



2005-08-12

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-12 09:45


Aerial views taken on 2005-Aug-10

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

Recent observations: Despite a large (M3) earthquake and an associated rockfall at 5:11pm yesterday, seismicity and deformation within the crater remain largely unchanged over the past several days. Images from a camera at the mouth of the crater show the new lava spine continuing to emerge from the ground at a rate of several meters per day. Results from yesterday’s field work show that temperatures of the new dome remain as hot as 660 degrees C (1220 degrees F) in cracks and on faces newly exposed by rockfalls, and that the amounts of volcanic gases being emitted appear to have declined about 2 fold since they were last measured at the end of July.



2005-08-11

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-11 09:00


Tiltmeter installation on 2005-Aug-05

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

Recent observations: Field crews had a successful day yesterday monitoring the hatching egg. They repositioned GPS stations on the volcano’s flanks, retrieved samples from and repositioned an ash collection spider within the crater, obtained new thermal imagery, and made minor repairs to a seismometer station. Field work today includes a gas flight and installations of new cameras to view the dome growth from various vantage points.



2005-08-10

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-10 08:00

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

Recent observations: So far, this summer’s dome growth is like watching an egg hatch. Seismic activity consists chiefly of small, mostly impalpable earthquake every 3 to 6 minutes. Rockfalls spall frequently from the growing lava dome, their telltale small ash clouds rising placidly within the crater. Some ash barely clears the crater rim and may be visible from afar. Field work today includes a FLIR thermal imagery flight and GPS station repositioning on the volcano’s flanks.



2005-08-09

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-09 09:45


Time lapse movie taken during past 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 broadly southward to eastward at low altitudes. Higher altitude clouds would drift east-northeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity remains largely unchanged, and rockfalls continue to occur from the growing lava dome. This week field crews will move GPS stations on the volcano’s flanks, obtain new aerial photographs and thermal imagery, retrieve data from a remote seismometer, and check for samples in an ash collection spider in the crater.



2005-08-08

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-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 southeastward at low altitudes. Higher altitude clouds would drift east-northeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Images from the Sugar Bowl DomeCam, which lies at the mouth of the crater, show clearly that the northwest part of the new lava dome continues to grow upward at several meters per day. Seismicity remains largely unchanged—small earthquakes occur at the rate of roughly one every three to six minutes.



2005-08-07

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-07 12:45

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 eastward early in the day. Later in the day clouds at low altitudes would drift southeastward and those at higher altitude would drift east-northeastward.

Recent observations: Seismicity remains at a level similar to that of recent days. Minor rockfalls from the growing lava dome and crater walls continue to produce occasional dust clouds.



2005-08-06

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-06 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 eastward to east-northeastward.

Recent observations: Yesterday a crew installed a sensitive tiltmeter in a 7.5-foot-deep hole they drilled into the 1980 to 1986 lava dome. The instrument should be able to detect any slight ground movements related to extrusion of the new lava dome. The hope is to better understand the processes driving the extrusion. A new kind of spider was deployed onto the south side of the old lava dome. It is designed to trap ash and small rock fragments from rockfalls off the new lava dome. The spider can be retrieved by helicopter and the material collected for analysis as one way of monitoring the chemical composition of lava during the ongoing eruption.



2005-08-05

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-05 09:25

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 northeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Hot and dry conditions are stirring dust plumes in the crater again this morning. The dust comes from rockfalls off the crater walls and the new lava dome, and erosion of ash that has accumulated since the eruption began in October. Rockfalls are particularly active from the west crater wall, a situation common at this time of year. Yesterday, crews installed a camera mount on the east crater rim, repaired our voice communications system, and cleaned up some debris. Today, crews will install a tiltmeter on the old lava dome, conduct GPS measurements on the volcano’s flanks, and deploy an ash collector in the crater.



2005-08-04

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-04 08:15


Dome views taken 2005-Aug-02/03

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 north-northwestward to northeastward at low altitudes. Higher altitude clouds would drift north-northeastward.

Recent observations: Hot, dry, and windy conditions continue to stir dust plumes in the crater this morning. The dust comes from rockfalls off the crater walls and the new lava dome, and erosion of ash that has accumulated since the eruption began in October. Crews will be in the field today to install new camera mounts around the rim, to work on our voice communications system, and to continue geologic mapping of the volcano.



2005-08-03

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-03 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 westward at low altitudes. Higher altitude clouds would drift east-southeastward early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: Dry conditions and a brisk east wind this morning are combining to create a diffuse dust plume that is streaming westward from the crater rim. The dust comes from rockfalls on the crater walls and the new lava dome, but is probably largely from wind erosion of ash that has accumulated since the eruption began in October. The weather forecast suggests that such conditions should prevail over the next several days.



2005-08-02

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-02 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 southward at low altitudes. Higher altitude clouds would drift eastward early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: The active part of the new lava dome continues to crumble and produce rockfalls and occasional ash clouds that rise above the crater rim. Crews plan to be in the field on Thursday and possibly Friday of this week to make a number of observations, to repair our voice radio-communications system, and to install a sensitive tiltmeter in a shallow borehole in the old lava dome. The latter is aimed at improving our understanding of the process of lava-dome extrusion.



2005-08-01

 

USGS Update 2005-Aug-01 09:10

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 northeastward.

Recent observations: Two more M=3 earthquakes occurred during the past 24 hours—about 6:45 p.m. last evening and 12:15 a.m. this morning. DomeCam pictures show that both were accompanied by rockfalls from the north end of the growing lava dome. The one last evening generated a diffuse ash plume that was visible from the metro area as it drifted over the crater rim.



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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