Tuesday, September 28, 2004

More Rumble, Rumble

Back in May I posted a webcam link to a plastic dinosaur in a New Zealand volcano. The dinosaur is still there, and so is the webcam.

A static image (updated every five minutes) of Mount St. Helens, Washington USA, taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The summit of Mount St. Helens is at an elevation of 2,549 Meters (8,364 feet), at 46.20 N, 122.18 W.  The summit stood at 9,677 feet before the May 18, 1980, eruption. The Observatory and VolcanoCam are located at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, about five miles from the volcano. You are looking approximately south-southeast across the North Fork Toutle River Valley. The Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam is brought to you by the U. S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory,Vancouver, Washington, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Vancouver, Washington, and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Amboy, Washington USA.

Mt. Saint Helens might (or might not) be another matter altogether. Last Friday, seismologists were pooh-poohing the possibility of anything significant happening. That tune has changed a bit. The volcano is now experiencing the most intense seismic activity in nearly 20 years. Earthquake activity has increased in strength from tremors that rated under 0 on the Richter scale, and increased in frequency. By Sunday there were more than 10 events with a magnitude of 2 to 2.8. The U.S. Forest Service has closed off all trails above 4,800 feet. "Standing on the rim, from what geologists tell us, would not be a good idea," monument scientist Peter Frenzen said.

At this point, no one seems to know what is going to happen, but no one is repeating the earlier assurances that the events will be trivial. I've included the above long-range, live webcam shot so that if something big does happen, it will be visible here.


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