PDA

View Full Version : MT St Helens is Growing



RGF1
05-05-2006, 09:19 AM
It must be amazing to see this and literally watch a mountian grow and new rock form . :cool:

I cannot insert the phot need help . Send a email or PM

Gigantic Rock Slab Growing in Mount St. Helens' Crater
By ELIZABETH M. GILLESPIE, AP

(May 5) - If the skies are clear as forecast, volcano watchers who turn out for the reopening of the Johnston Ridge Observatory on Friday will get a spectacular view of a hulking slab of rock that's rapidly growing in Mount St. Helens' crater.



Dan Dzurisin, USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory/AP
The fin-shaped rock mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 to 5 feet a day, though it occasionally loses height from rockfalls.



It's jutting up from one of seven lobes of fresh volcanic rock that have been pushing their way through the surface of the crater since October 2004.

The fin-shaped mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 feet to 5 feet a day, though it occasionally loses height from rockfalls off its tip, said Dan Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

It began growing last November, steadily moving west and pushing rock and other debris out of its way as it goes.

Mount St. Helens has been quietly erupting since a flurry of tiny earthquakes began in late September 2004. Scientists initially mistook the quakes as rainwater seeping into the hot interior of the older lava dome.

But it soon became clear that magma was on the move, confirmed by the emergence of fire-red lava between the old lava dome and the south crater rim a few weeks after the seismic activity began.

The volcano has continued pumping out lava ever since. Eventually, scientists expect the volcano will rebuild its conical peak that was obliterated in the May 18, 1980, eruption that killed 57 people.

The current growth of the new lava dome has been accompanied by low seismicity rates, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases and minor production of ash, the USGS said.

"Given the way things are going now, there's no hint of any sort of catastrophic eruptions," USGS geologist Tom Pierson said. "At any time, however, things can change."

Scientists flew a helicopter into the crater late last week to adjust equipment and take photographs that will likely be used to determine just how much the new lava dome has grown the last several months.

Their latest measurements, taken in December, showed that the new lava dome was about 96 million cubic yards in volume - enough to fill a football field with a stack of rock 10 1/2 miles high, Pierson said.

Scientists know the new dome is now larger than the old dome, a mass that's about 97 million cubic yards in volume that formed from a series of eruptions from 1980-1986.

"The 1980 dome frankly does not look very impressive anymore," Dzurisin said. "It's starting to disappear."

The Johnston Ridge Observatory, which closes down every winter, is the closest observatory to the 8,364-foot peak. It sits about five miles north of the mountain and offers the closest views of the volcano's horseshoe-shaped crater.

Johnston Ridge was named after David A. Johnston, a volcanologist killed in the 1980 eruption.


05-05-06 01:17 EDT


Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

Quietman
05-05-2006, 09:52 AM
Here is the web camera site
Mt St Helens (http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/)

Kevin Rooney
05-05-2006, 09:59 AM
You can see it near the rear of the dome, towards the crater rim.

A few months ago they had been considering opening the south side of the mountain to climbers - I guess that plan may be on hold for awhile ;)

Fitz
05-05-2006, 10:15 AM
of the growth of the dome here also:

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/MSH/Images/MSH04/framework.html

Chip
05-05-2006, 10:24 AM
:eek:
I've watched The Discovery Channel special on it several times. I am always amazed by how non-challant the area observers were about the bulge on the side of the mountain and how far away people were killed or injured. That one couple that got stuck in the trees in the river had quite a story.

Kevin Rooney
05-05-2006, 12:00 PM
:eek:
I've watched The Discovery Channel special on it several times. I am always amazed by how non-challant the area observers were about the bulge on the side of the mountain and how far away people were killed or injured. That one couple that got stuck in the trees in the river had quite a story.I agree, Chip. I had a long conversation with a woman at the general store in Trout Lake after I'd gotten my climbing permit for Adams at the nearby Ranger station one year. She told me how she and her husband used to live not too far from Mt St Helens, and when it exploded they outran the debris field by hurtling down the dirt roads in their truck at 80mph. On that same climbing trip I also climbed Mt St Helens, and visited with a fellow at the car camp spot below Monitor Ridge. He was from Seattle, and told me how the dust cloud from the eruption left a thick coating of dust. Those stories left a big impression on me.

When I was in the USAF I was stationed in CA, and used to live a few yards from the San Andreaus fault. At the time it was more of a curiosity, and we'd joke about moving a few inches north each year while our neighbors moved a few inches south. But now I have a different attitude, and doubt that I'd knowingly live in the path of a debris flow, lahar, etc of an active volcano. And yes, it makes me damn nervous when I'm near the top of Shasta and stand by the hot spring that saved Muir, smelling the sulfur, listening to the roar and feeling the vibration just a few feet below. Or smelling the sulfur as you work your way up the HogBack on Hood, or on the summit of Adams on a year when the snow has melted away enough to expose the vents. Same thing on Rainer when you hunker down below the rim to avoid the wind, knowing that the steam which melted the snow is from lava not the far away.

What a rush!

AntlerPeak
05-05-2006, 12:10 PM
There is a good close up of the 300 foot rock slab on the front page of the Seattle Times. Once you get there click on the picture and you get a decent enlargement. This will be gone when they change their web page tonight or tomorrow morning. Not sure when they make updates.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/index.html

Chip
05-05-2006, 12:24 PM
The rock hounds must be LINING UP to climb that thing. (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/MSH/MSH06/MSH06_helicopter_flying_past_slab_04-28-06_med.jpg)

Freshest rock on the planet, I wonder how hot it is.

Jim lombard
05-05-2006, 02:52 PM
Great picture of it smoking.

I visited a big Lava tower (http://www.kenyaevangelicalmission.com/kibo.jpg) on Kilimanjaro (pictured middle right), some of us climbed up to the top. When this one eventually cools off it'd be fun to climb too.