Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mount St Helens - 6 month anniversary

Well today marks the 6 month anniversary since Mount St Helens began its current eruptive phase. We have seen several major explosions and followed the night time activity of the "glow" with much interest.

The USGS/CVO are reporting that the new lava dome continues to grow and that "the highest part of the new lava dome stands at an altitude of 7,682 feet, 527 higher than the old lava dome, and 92 feet below the level of Shoestring Notch on the southeast crater rim."

Unfortunately, the mountain has been fairly quiet over the last few days and nights and bad weather has obscured the view of the crater from the US Forest Service Volcanocam.

However, there is some good news for those planning a visit to the mountain. The Seattle Times is reporting that many of the areas around the mountain that have been closed to the public over the last 6 months will re-open from May 6, including the Johnson Ridge Observatory.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mountain has been incredibly active from an eathquake perspective the last 4 days! In the last 24 hours alone, 8 earthquakes from 2.0 to 3.2 magnitude have occured, and one long period, low amplitude quake has just occurred as well!

With the massive rain and snow on the mountain, plenty of water is getting down into the hot cracks and vents, and I imagine we are seeing both large steam burst quakes and landslide/lahar quakes as water acts as a lubricant and more of the new lava dome collapses or spalls away, and creates significant landslides and mudflows/lahars in the crater.

With the stormy pattern, there will not be significant opportunities to see what has happened in the crater. We will be fortunate if there is partial clearing on at least one day this week. I sure hope so, as I would love to see more details on how the crater has changed!

Right now, a huge steam burst or ash cloud could arise, and no one would know, because the cloud layer is so dense and so thick.

2005-03-27, 12:22 p.m.  

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