Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mount St Helens update

The views of the crater from the Volcanocam have been obscured by clouds almost every day this week, so there is little to report on the night time activity from the mountain. Last night at 18:43 the Volcanocam stopped tranmitting images from the mountain and since has only been showing featureless blue images, reminiscent of the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), which should be familiar to most Microsoft Windows users... hopefully this is just a temporary glitch and not a sign of a more fundamental problem with the camera.

The USGS recently posted an interesting image comparing the current view of the crater with those from November 29, 2004, February 22, 2005, June 21, 2005, and August 31, 2005 (shown below). The growth of the new lavadome continues unabated, with the most recent figures showing that the volume had grown to 62 million cubic meters (81 million cubic yards) at an average rate of growth during late July and early August of about 2 cubic meters per second.

USGS photograph taken on October 30, 2005, by John Pallister

There is also a new mosaic of images of the growing lavadome taken over the last year from the Sugarbowl. The Sugar Bowl Dome is located at the crater mouth about 2.3 km (1.4 miles) north-northeast of the vent.

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