Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mount St Helens - steady as she goes

Over the last few nights the level of activity on Mount St Helens has been reasonably constant with only a few minor outbursts of activity. The reduced level of activity is a direct result of the Deterioration of the lavadome over the last month, as evidenced by the images from the Sugarbowl camera taken on 4 th August and 5th July. The lavadome has lost much of its structure due to ongoing rock falls, but extrusion of lava continues, so further interesting events are still likely over the coming months!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date! I still use the Webreaper software you recommended to catch up on activity on a regular basis. It works great.

Yeah, the newest lavadome feature, the "spine" has largely disintegrated over the past few weeks, but now, with a larger base around it from all of the material that fell from it, it has a more stable base to rise through again, and should start climbing higher soon, if there is enough magma rising beneath the surface to continue the upward push.

Some of the photos at the USGS site, specifically from the Sugar Bowl location, show that while the northern portion (smoothest) part of the lava spine has collapsed the most, the Southern portion has only lost about 15% of it's height, and is now the tallest portion of the spine. Tracking this portion over the next few weeks, in reference to the back crater wall, will tell us whether the push of magma from down in the magma chamber and up through the tube is again greater than the rate of decomposition due to landslides, cooling, cracking, and earthquakes.

Keep up the good work, I always enjoy checking into your blog and website at least once a day!

Hope you are enjoying the fine Pac NW weather! It's been beautiful down here in Lynden!

2005-08-08, 10:55 a.m.  

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