2005-10-31

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-31 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 northeastward to eastward.

Recent observations: Almost 10 centimeters (4 inches) of rain fell overnight in the crater on recently fallen snow. This increased stream flows and triggered a small debris flow at about 5:30 this morning (PST) in Loowit channel. The debris flow was not large enough to extend very far down the fan at the crater mouth, but it is a reminder of the potential hazards from debris flows triggered by rain or eruptive events. Storm clouds continue to obscure the volcano, but data from field sites indicates no significant change in the level of eruptive activity.



2005-10-30

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-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 northward at low altitudes ranging to eastward at higher altitudes.

Recent observations: Intermittently clear views this morning from the VolcanoCam show a small vapor plume rising off the growing lava dome. There have been no significant changes in seismic and deformation data during the past day. Today is the last day that the Johnston Ridge Observatory will be open before it closes for the winter. Tomorrow Coldwater Ridge Visitors Center begins winter hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday).



2005-10-29

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-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 east-northeastward early and shift to a more eastward trajectory later in the day.

Recent observations: Clouds obscure the volcano this morning. Overnight there has been no significant change in seismic or other activity. Recent analyses of images from remote cameras at the mountain show clearly that a spine of lava, broadly covered by rockfall debris, continues to emerge.



2005-10-28

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-28 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 in the day, and east-northeastward later.

Recent observations: Stormy weather continues to block views of the volcano. Seismic, GPS, and tilt data from field instruments show no significant changes from recent trends.



2005-10-27

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-27 08:50

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 slightly northward to mostly eastward early, and north-northeastward later in the day.

Recent observations: Mostly clear conditions this morning reveal a mountain cloaked in new snow cover and emitting a moderate steam plume. Clouds and stronger winds are expected to develop as the day progresses, so flank seismometers may again be affected by wind noise. The level of eruptive activity remains unchanged from recent trends.



2005-10-26

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-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. Later in the day ash clouds at low altitude would also drift northward.

Recent observations: Yesterday, scientists were able to gage the flow rate of a crater stream, collect water samples, and download data from sensors placed in several springs. Clouds stymied other planned work. Strong winds late in the day and evening made lots of noise on flank seismometers such as Studebaker, June Lake, and Cedar Flats, but a magnitude 2+ earthquake is embedded in the storm noise shortly after 8 pm PDT. The level of eruptive activity remains unchanged from recent trends.



2005-10-25

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-25 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 northward early in the day and north-northeastward later.

Recent observations: Clouds are gradually building at the volcano this morning and weather conditions are expected to deteriorate as the day progresses. The average size of small, background drumbeat earthquakes has picked up a bit over the past few days causing a minor increase in the seismic energy release. GPS sensors in the crater, however, show little change in movement. This eruption has been characterized by episodes of waxing and waning seismicity, so the current minor increase does not constitute a significant change in activity. When weather allows, field crews plan to install water sensor probes and collect samples from creeks draining the crater, to replace and install new cameras, and to obtain new aerial photography.



2005-10-24

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-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 northeastward early in the day and north-northeastward later.

Recent observations: This morning’s camera views from around the volcano show a diffuse white vapor, volcanic gas, and minor dust plume rising from the actively growing part of the lava dome and drifting out of the crater mouth. Seismic and deformation data remain unchanged.



2005-10-23

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-23 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 north-northeastward to northeastward.

Recent observations: The volcano is mostly clear above lowland clouds this morning. Atmospheric conditions are conducive for creating a visible vapor plume that is drifting out of the mouth of the crater toward the northeast. GPS and seismic data remain unchanged from recent trends. Tiny “drumbeat” earthquakes continue to occur at a rate of about one every minute and a half. Larger earthquakes up to about M=2.5 occur once every few hours



2005-10-22

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-22 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 to northward early and shift to a north-northeastward trajectory later in the day.

Recent observations: Clear conditions this morning reveal minor steam and dust plumes drifting away from the volcano. The server glitch associated with the PNSN website continues to periodically disrupt display of seismic records again today, and seismologists are actively pursuing the problem. The data stream from instruments in the field is not affected, and that stream indicates no significant change in eruptive activity.



2005-10-21

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-21 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 northwestward to northeastward at low elevations and eastward at high elevations early in the day, then northward to north-northeastward later in the day.

Recent observations: Clear conditions show the volcano emitting a moderate steam plume this morning. There have been no significant changes in seismicity or deformation over the past several days. A glitch following a server upgrade at the PNSN site yesterday caused a temporary outage of the display of seismic records on the web. This glitch affected only the display, and not the collection, of seismic data. Results of a gas flight on Tuesday show that SO2, CO2, and H2S emissions were similar to those measured during the previous flight a few weeks ago and remain very low. Analysis of recent camera images indicates that the dome continues to extrude at a linear rate of about 2 to 3 meters per day (6 to 10 feet per day).



2005-10-20

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-20 10:00


Views taken on 2005-Oct-18

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: Clouds obscure the volcano this morning following about an inch of rainfall overnight, which moderately increased stream flows in the crater. Seismic, GPS, and tilt data show no significant changes from recent trends. Oblique aerial photographs taken in October 2004 and the past Tuesday from nearly the same location illustrate well the remarkable changes that have taken place in the crater over the past year.



2005-10-19

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-19 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 in the day and east-southeastward later.

Recent observations: Scientists had a productive day in the field yesterday. They retrieved two seismic stations (portable spiders) from the crater and replaced batteries to last through the winter and made other repairs, collected a batch of rocks from the actively growing part of the lava dome, and made a measurement of gas flux. Final results of the gas flight await further analysis, but values appear to be largely unchanged from recent measurements. Two sets of photographs, each covering several hours, were collected from a point about 400 meters from the active lava dome. The photographs, taken at 10-second intervals, will reveal details about the rate of lava extrusion.



2005-10-18

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-18 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 eastward to east-northeastward early in the day and northward later.

Recent observations: Clouds and wind cancelled yesterday’s field work, but crews are out today to repair several instruments in the crater, measure gas flux from the volcano, collect rock samples, and obtain several hours of high-resolution time-lapse photographs of the vent area. The latest digital elevation model of the new lava dome, which was created from aerial photographs taken on August 10, shows that the volume had grown to 62 million cubic meters (81 million cubic yards). The average rate of growth during late July and early August was about 2 cubic meters per second, a rate that has typified most of 2005.



2005-10-17

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-17 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 east-northeastward to eastward.

Recent observations: The crater is clear above the lowland clouds and crews may head to the field to perform a variety of tasks if visibility improves. Monitoring data from seismic, GPS, and tilt instruments indicate that no significant changes in eruptive conditions have occurred during the past few days.



2005-10-16

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-16 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 southeastward early in the day and east-southeastward later.

Recent observations: The slight increase in seismic-energy release that began about October 7 has ended and energy levels are now decreasing slowly. Such cycles are becoming characteristic of the ongoing eruption. During the past few weeks a prominent linear feature has developed on the disintegrating whaleback that grew during last spring and summer and now lies east of the actively growing part of the new lava dome. In this photograph the linear, blade-like feature lies in shadow in the center of the three distinct masses that form the new lava dome. Although it appears that the feature is being actively thrust upward, it is merely being exhumed as fractured lava spalls away from it.



2005-10-15

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-15 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 north-northeastward early and shift to an east-southeastward trajectory later in the day.

Recent observations: Clouds obscure views of the volcano today. Overnight, there has been no significant change in the level of seismic activity of deformation. In general, plots of seismic energy release suggest that the recent minor increase in activity may be leveling off. High winds canceled planned field work yesterday. Next week if weather and winds are suitable, field crews will measure gases, winterize seismic stations, and collect new rock samples.



2005-10-14

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-14 09:50


Aerial views taken on 2005-Oct-11

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.

Recent observations: The slow increase in seismic energy release during the past few days continues as the size and rate of the tiny drumbeat earthquakes increase slightly. The size and rate of larger earthquakes (magnitude 1-2) appear to be unchanged. Such episodes of waxing, followed by waning, seismicity have occurred several times during the eruption and have not been accompanied by notable changes in eruptive behavior. If weather and winds cooperate, field crews may try to collect new rock samples and winterize instrument sites later today.



2005-10-13

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-13 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-northeastward.

Recent observations: Rainy weather today has cancelled field plans and obscured the crater. The slow increase in seismic energy release during the past few days continues as the size and rate of the tiny drumbeat earthquakes increase slightly and larger earthquakes (magnitude 1-2) occur a bit more often. Such increases, followed by decreases, have characterized the current eruption and have not been accompanied by notable changes in eruptive behavior.



2005-10-12

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-12 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 northward at low altitudes and eastward at higher altitudes early in the day and east-northeastward at all altitudes later in the day.

Recent observations: Field crews are out again today winterizing broadband seismometers and setting out control points for a new set of aerial photographs. If winds aren’t too strong, we’ll also conduct a gas-sensing flight. Observations made yesterday in the helicopter show that westward growth of the new lava dome has so squeezed and thickened the west arm of the glacier that the highest point on the glacier now stands above the summit of the old lava dome.



2005-10-11

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-11 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 eastward to east-northeastward early in the day and southeastward later in the day.

Recent observations: Over the past few days, seismic energy release has increased slightly, mostly because of minor increases in earthquake sizes and occurrence frequencies of larger quakes. Minor increases in seismicity such as this have occurred repeatedly throughout the eruption and do not indicate any significant change in the character of the eruption. Field crews are out today obtaining new thermal imagery, winterizing the broadband seismometers that have been deployed, conducting routine maintenance on some hydrological warning systems, and measuring rates of water flow from the crater.



2005-10-10

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-10 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 northward at low altitudes and northeastward at higher altitudes early in the day and northeastward at all altitudes later in the day.

Recent observations: Remote cameras around the crater thawed out last night following several days of being covered by rime ice from recent storms. Images confirm that the pattern of dome growth established during the past few months continues. The actively growing portion of the dome is moving northwestward and pushing the west arm of the glacier against the west crater wall, causing the glacier to narrow, thicken, and become increasingly fractured. Rockfalls shed dome debris onto the glacier and onto the north flank of the old lava dome. Field crews will be out tomorrow to retrieve broadband seismometers that have been deployed all summer and to perform maintenance on several field sites.



2005-10-09

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-09 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 east-southeastward early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: Rainfall during the past couple of days hasn’t been sufficient to generate significant flows of water and rock debris from the crater. But events during the last two days of September at Mounts Rainier and Hood serve as reminders that onset of autumn rains and intense rain-on-snow events later in the autumn and winter can trigger debris flows at Cascade volcanoes. The crater of Mount St. Helens with its snow and ice, abundant debris, and a growing lava dome is susceptible to such events, which, in addition to storms, can also be generated by hot rock avalanches from the dome that swiftly melt snow and ice. Areas in the crater and on the Pumice Plain north of the volcano and upper North Toutle River valley above the Sediment Retention Structure are at greatest risk from such events



2005-10-08

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-08 09:15


Aerial views taken on 2005-Oct-04

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 an east-southeastward trajectory later in the day.

Recent observations: Clear conditions this morning reveal the volcano sporting a moderate steam plume that rises above the rim. Moderate sized earthquakes continue to punctuate the background level of small drumbeat earthquakes several times per day, but this is par for the course at present. There has been no significant change in the level of activity at the mountain over the past few days.



2005-10-07

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-07 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 eastward.

Recent observations: Clouds obscure the volcano again this morning. On the basis of seismic and GPS data, eruptive conditions appear to be unchanged since yesterday.



2005-10-06

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-06 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 northward to northeastward at low altitude and east-northeastward at higher altitudes early in the day and east-northeastward at all altitudes later.

Recent observations: The new lava dome is obscured by clouds this morning, but eruptive conditions appear unchanged from those recent weeks on the basis of seismic and GPS data.



2005-10-05

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-05 13:00

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 broadly east-northeast to east-southeast.

Recent observations: The lava dome’s extrusion continues, as does its inexorable decay by rockfalls and small slope collapses. The past weekend’s storm left snow blanketing most of the volcano. A late afternoon overflight Tuesday found the deposit of a collapse from the north flank of “dome 5.” Number 5 indicates the whaleback-shaped dome that was actively expanding until August. The collapse, which gullied the face of the dome, spun out a fine layer of ash directed northward as a narrow plume for 1 km within the crater. Nothing beyond the crater was affected by this small event. Exact timing of the rockfall is uncertain, occurring possibly Monday night or early Tuesday. Its trigger may have been one of the larger earthquakes (in the magnitude range 2-3) that periodically punctuate the seismic record of smaller earthquakes less than M1.



2005-10-04

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-04 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 early in the day and southeastward later.

Recent observations: Once the lowland clouds dissipate, we may be able to see a vapor plume drifting southeastward over the crater rim. The level of eruptive activity remains unchanged from that of recent weeks. A reanalysis of late September repeat photographs of the active part of the new lava dome indicates that points on the dome are moving northwestward and upward at about 5.5 meters (18 feet) per day as extrusion continues.



 

Volcanocam Movies


2004-Oct-04 movie

The Mt. St. Helens Volcanocam has available a movie made from all the images taken on 2004 October 04. More such movies are available.



2005-10-03

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-03 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 northeastward to north-northeastward.

Recent observations: Brief glimpses from the VolcanoCam early this morning reveal a new blanket of snow on the crater floor and upper flanks and a vapor plume drifting northeastward from the growing lava dome. The weather forecast suggests we may not have many more views of the volcano for the rest of the week. Monitoring data maintain the same levels as those of recent weeks.



2005-10-02

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-02 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 north-northeastward early and northeastward later.

Recent observations: Clouds and rain obscure the volcano this morning. As has beem typical over the past few weeks, moderate sized earthquakes continue to punctuate the background of ongoing small earthquakes. There have no significant changes in eruptive conditions.



2005-10-01

 

USGS Update 2005-Oct-01 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: The volcano marks the 1-year anniversary of the first steam-and-ash explosions of the current eruption with continued dome growth. As the growing dome moves westward, it continues to squeeze and deform the west arm of the surrounding glacier. Seismic and deformation data show no significant changes from trends of recent days.



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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