2005-09-30

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-30 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 eastward to east-northeastward.

Recent observations: The final analysis of Wednesday’s gas data shows that gas flux remains low. The volcano continues to emit about 50 tons per day of sulfur dioxide and 500 tons per day of carbon dioxide. Such low values suggest that, at least in the near term, eruptive activity will continue in its present style. Results of a 7-hour-long experiment on 20 September, in which a camera mounted about 400 meters from the active lava dome took an image every 30 seconds of an area about 1 by 1.3 meters, shows that the extrusion is moving about 4 meters per day to the west and upward. This rate is similar to those estimated during the past few months.



2005-09-29

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-29 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 eastward.

Recent observations: Full results of yesterday’s gas sensing flight will be available tomorrow, but an initial analysis suggests that gas flux remains within levels of the past few months. Low clouds and rain today will probably cause cancellation of planned crater work.



2005-09-28

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-28 08:20

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 broadly northward to eastward early and then chiefly eastward as the day progresses.

Recent observations: Clear weather at the volcano this morning reveals a crater veiled in diffuse ash. The slight elevation in the level of seismicity that began a week or so ago continues, though recent plots of energy level suggest that it may be starting to drop. Such waxing and waning of low-level seismicity is par for the course in this eruption and does not indicate any significant change in the character of activity. Today, field crews will conduct surveys of stream channels, install a new debris-flow detection monitor along the South Fork Toutle River channel, and if conditions are suitable measure levels of gas emissions.



2005-09-27

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-27 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 southeastward.

Recent observations: The crater is clear this morning. A minor vapor plume is rising from the growing lava dome and the wind continues to stir up dust from the crater and upper flanks. A diffuse ash and vapor plume is drifting southeastward from the crater rim. Data from monitoring systems show no significant changes from recent trends.



2005-09-26

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-26 11:25

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 south-southeastward early and eastward later.

Recent observations: Winds are stirring ash in the crater, creating very dusty conditions and producing a plume trailing away from the volcano. Images from cameras around the mountain show that dome extrusion continues its westward push on the glacier. Seismic and deformation data show no significant changes from trends of recent days.



2005-09-25

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-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 south-southwestward early and south-southeastward later.

Recent observations: Ash and dust stirred by winds, a weak vapor plume rising from the growing lava dome, and minor ash plumes caused by rockfalls are drifting over the crater rim. Seismic and deformation data show no significant changes from trends of recent days.



2005-09-24

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-24 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 south-southwestward.

Recent observations: A weak vapor plume is rising from the growing lava dome this morning and drifting over the southwest crater rim. Seismic and deformation data show no significant changes from trends of recent days.



 

News Report Update



2005-09-23

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-23 10:10


Aerial views taken on 2005-Sep-19/20

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 south-southwestward at low altitude and eastward at higher altitude early in the day and south-southwestward at all altitudes later.

Recent observations: Today is the first-year anniversary of the seismic unrest that culminated in the extrusion of the new lava dome beginning in mid-October 2004. In honor of this occasion, the volcano is sporting a handsome vapor plume this morning and is continuing to build the dome. The dome is now more than three-quarters of the volume of the dome that grew episodically between 1980 and 1986. We wait enthusiastically to see what St. Helens has in mind for year two.



2005-09-22

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-22 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 eastward to east-southeastward.

Recent observations: The active northwestern portion of the new lava dome continues to plow westward into the west arm of the glacier and shed rockfalls. Yesterday, crews obtained thermal imagery and new aerial photography, continued collecting rock samples for analysis of magnetic signature, and repaired data communications systems. Tomorrow, we will hold a press briefing in commemoration of the 1 year anniversary of the onset of the current eruption.



2005-09-21

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-21 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 southward at low altitude and eastward at higher altitude early in the day and eastward at all altitudes later.

Recent observations: Initial analysis of recent photographs from cameras on the rim of the crater show that the active northwestern portion of the new lava dome continues to plow westward into the west arm of the glacier. The average size and rate of occurrence of the tiny earthquakes that accompany dome extrusion has increased slightly during the past few days. Similar episodes of slight increases or decreases in seismicity have occurred in the past without noticeable changes in eruptive activity.



2005-09-20

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-20 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 eastward.

Recent observations: Field crews are out again today. A camera positioned on the old lava dome will run for several hours taking repeat photographs of a small area of the active part of the new lava dome. The aim of this experiment is to determine the rate of lava extrusion and to see if it is occurring steadily or in fits and starts that might correlate with changes in rates of seismicity or in tilt of the ground surface around the vent. Our hope is to better understand the process by which lava is extruding from the vent. Other work will focus on resurveying some targets on the new lava dome and continue studies of some prehistorical features of the volcano.



2005-09-19

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-19 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.

Recent observations: Field crews are taking advantage of the clear weather to do stream channel surveys, collect paleomagnetic samples around the mountain, and conduct GPS surveys on the volcano’s flanks. Seismicity and deformation at the volcano remain the same as they have over the past several days. A few moderate earthquakes continue to punctuate a persistent low level of small quakes.



2005-09-18

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-18 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 broadly around the mountain at low elevations early and east-northeastward later. At higher elevations, ash clouds would drift east-southeastward.

Recent observations: Clear conditions reveal the volcano emitting a wispy plume this morning. As the day progresses, a stronger steam plume may develop. Overnight, there have been no significant changes in the level of activity.



2005-09-17

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-17 07:30

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 southward to south-southwestward.

Recent observations: There have been no significant changes in the level of activity overnight. It’s another cloudy day with poor visibility on all of the cameras at the volcano.



2005-09-16

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-16 09:45


Aerial views taken on 2005-Sep-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 east-northeastward early and shift to southeastward trajectories later.

Recent observations: Inclement weather obscures the volcano today and prevents visual observations. Analyses of seismic and deformation data indicate that the dome continues to grow. Once new aerial photography has been analyzed, the size of the dome and any changes in long term rates of growth will be determined.



2005-09-15

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-15 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 eastward.

Recent observations: Broken clouds partly obscure the volcano this morning. However, analysis of images from the Sugar Bowl camera and GPS data from the west arm of the glacier shows that the northern part of the lava dome continues to move westward. Over the past several days, an obvious steam plume has developed by mid morning. This steam plume results mostly from changes in atmospheric conditions and not from changes in eruptive conditions. As air temperature and humidity change in the crater during the day, a steam plume becomes visible as warm moist vapor emitted by the volcano condenses. Yesterday, field crews repositioned GPS spiders, retrieved seismic equipment, and installed an additional camera.



2005-09-14

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-14 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 southeastward early in the day and eastward later.

Recent observations: Analysis of DomeCam images from the Sugar Bowl camera and GPS data from the west arm of the glacier shows that the northern part of the lava dome continues to move westward. In doing so it is pushing the west glacier, which is thickening, increasing its rate of flow, and becoming more crevassed. This process is similar to what happened to the east glacier over the winter when the dome was growing eastward. Crews are in the field today to reposition GPS spiders, retrieve seismic equipment, and install an additional camera.



2005-09-13

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-13 09:00


Views from 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 westward to south-southwestward early and southeastward later.

Recent observations: The VolcanoCam window has been cleaned and views of the mountain are clear again. The new dome continues to shed episodic rockfalls. Seismicity remains unchanged from levels of the past several days.



2005-09-12

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-12 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 south-southeastward to southward.

Recent observations: The VolcanoCam and views from the Portland metropolitan area this morning show a small water-vapor plume rising above the crater as warm moist air rises from the growing lava dome and condenses as it cools. Such views will be common during the onset of autumn weather. The yellow globs that have appeared recently on the VolcanoCam were probably deposited by the flies that are often seen in images and have nothing to do with the volcano. The tone of a few national news reports last evening suggested that something ominous was brewing at the volcano, but, in fact, the volcano is in the same eruptive status and hazard outlook as it has been for many months.



2005-09-11

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-11 10:30

Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that, early in the day, any ash clouds that rise above the crater rim could drift in any direction at low altitudes owing to light and variable winds. Any ash clouds that reach higher altitudes would drift southwestward. Later in the day any ash clouds would drift southward.

Recent observations: Seismic signals of rockfalls from the growing lava dome continue along with the typical background seismicity of one tiny earthquake every few minutes. The dome is largely obscured by clouds this morning, but clearing forecasts for the next few days should give us good views.



2005-09-10

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-10 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 would drift east-southeastward to southeastward early in the day and broadly northward later. With the latter wind conditions, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, Johnston Ridge Observatory, and the eastern portion of SR 504 could receive ashfall from any explosion or large rockfall event.

Recent observations: Early morning VolcanoCam images show a dusting of new snow covers the old lava dome and upper flanks of the volcano. The level of activity remains unchanged with several large rockfalls from the growing lava dome occurring overnight.



2005-09-09

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-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 would drift eastward early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: The volcano is obscured by clouds this morning, but seismic and other data from field stations indicate no significant changes from the activity of recent days.



2005-09-08

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-08 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 would drift broadly southward to westward early, and shift to broadly southward to eastward trajectories later.

Recent observations: Dry conditions and rockfalls continue at the mountain, and the crater is veiled with a haze of dust and ash. As the central part of the new dome sags and the active part migrates westward, frequent rockfalls expose hot material, which contribute to conspicuous and persistent glow visible at night. Seismicity remains largely unchanged over the past few days and is characterized by a low level of small earthquakes punctuated several times per day by larger earthquakes associated chiefly with ongoing dome collapse.



2005-09-07

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-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 would drift north-northeastward early in the day, and shift to more southward to eastward trajectories later.

Recent observations: Dry conditions and rockfalls continue to stir ash within the crater, and a persistent, but lazy, gas and vapor plume rises from the dome. As has happened in the past, large rockfalls from the dome generate conspicuous ash plumes that can rise above the crater rim and drift downwind. Camera images show continued slumping of the central part of the dome and westward motion of the presently active area.



2005-09-06

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-06 11:59

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 would drift northeastward.

Recent observations: Dry conditions and rockfalls from the dome are generating occasional ash plumes that rise above the volcano but rapidly dissipate. A sustained but lazy vapor plume accompanies these dust plumes. Camera images show continued westward motion of the new lava dome.



2005-09-05

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-05 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 east-southeasterly today transitioning to northeasterly by this evening.

Recent observations: Images this morning from a digital camera located on the northeastern side of the crater rim show continued westwards motion of the new lava dome. No significant changes in seismicity or deformation occurred over the last 24 hours, and the new dome continues to shed occasional rockfalls. With the return of drier weather rockfall activity off all sides of the crater rim will likely increase, and winds may stir up dust and ash creating hazy conditions inside and downwind of the crater.



2005-09-04

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-04 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-northeasterly today transitioning to easterly by this evening.

Recent observations: Early morning pictures from a digital camera at a site on the northeastern crater rim indicate that dome growth continues, with continued slumping of the middle part of the new dome complex and westwards motion of the latest lobe located at the western edge of the complex. No significant changes in seismicity or deformation occurred over the last 24 hours, and occasional rockfalls continue to be shed by the new dome.



2005-09-03

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-03 08:30


Aerial views taken on 2005-Sep-02

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-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 motion of the latest lobe located at the western edge of the complex. No significant changes in seismicity or deformation occurred over the last 24 hours, and occasional rockfalls continue to be shed by the new dome. Yesterday field crews made airborne temperature measurements of the new dome, performed maintenance on several digital camera sites, took high-resolution close-up pictures of the new dome from a site on the old lava dome in an attempt to capture small-scale dome motion, and removed over a quarter-ton of equipment from the old lava dome that had been damaged by explosions last fall and winter.



2005-09-02

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-02 07:30


Recent stationary views from rim

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: Images this morning from a digital camera located on the northeastern side of the crater rim show continued westwards motion of the new lava dome. Seismicity levels remain low, and the new dome continues to shed occasional rockfalls. Weather permitting field crews today plan to make airborne measurements of dome temperatures, perform maintenance on existing camera sites, use high-resolution photography to attempt to capture small-scale movements of the new dome, and retrieve equipment from the old lava dome that was damaged during explosions last fall and winter.



2005-09-01

 

USGS Update 2005-Sep-01 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 northeasterly.

Recent observations: Images from the Sugarbowl camera this morning show continued westwards motion of the complex of lobes erupted since 2004. Seismicity levels remain low, with occasional rockfall signals continuing occur. Deformation trends within the crater remain unchanged over the last 24 hours. Field crews had good weather yesterday and were able to accomplish the bulk of planned work including measurements of gas content from the vent, surveying of several GPS sites, continued geologic mapping, and maintenance of several hydrologic stations. Weather permitting field crews tomorrow will do airborne measurements of dome temperatures, perform maintenance on existing camera sites, use high-resolution photography to attempt to capture small-scale movements of the new dome, and retrieve equipment from the old lava dome that was damaged during explosions last fall and winter.



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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