Special report: Mt. St. Helens


  • Anonymous


Mt. St Helens Volcano, Cascade Range, Southern Washington, USA (46.20°N, 122.18°W.) All times are local (GMT - 7 h through October 24, GMT - 8 h thereafter. Lava extrusion that probably began October 30 added a new lobe to the composite dome in the crater of Mt. St. Helens. After lava extrusion ended September 10 (see September 22 Eos), rates of deformation in the crater remained low for several weeks, as they had after earlier extrusion episodes. Sulfur dioxide emission ranged from 70 to 190 tons per day between October 9 and 24, but showed no particular trends. Inflation of the dome has caused small thrust faults to form in the surrounding crater floor. In early October the most active thrust, south of the dome, was moving at about 1.5 cm/d, and stations on the north crater rampart showed outward movement of about 0.5 cm/d. By October 24 these rates had increased to 14.5 and 3.5–4 cm/d, respectively, and leveling profiles perpendicular to the dome showed that crater floor tilt rates had reached 400–500 μrad/d, prompting the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to issue an advisory prediction of renewed lava extrusion within the next two weeks.