Report on St. Helens (United States) — 3 August-9 August 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on St. Helens (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
46.2°N, 122.18°W; summit elev. 2549 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Mount St Helen's lava dome growth, low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash continued during 3-9 August. Dry conditions and an E wind combined this week to create a diffuse dust plume that streamed W from the crater rim. Some of the dust came originated with rockfalls from the crater walls and new lava dome, but most of it was probably from wind-eroded ash that had accumulated since the eruption began last October. St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
Geologic Background. Prior to 1980, Mount St. Helens formed a conical, youthful volcano sometimes known as the Fuji-san of America. During the 1980 eruption the upper 400 m of the summit was removed by slope failure, leaving a 2 x 3.5 km horseshoe-shaped crater now partially filled by a lava dome. Mount St. Helens was formed during nine eruptive periods beginning about 40-50,000 years ago and has been the most active volcano in the Cascade Range during the Holocene. Prior to 2200 years ago, tephra, lava domes, and pyroclastic flows were erupted, forming the older St. Helens edifice, but few lava flows extended beyond the base of the volcano. The modern edifice was constructed during the last 2200 years, when the volcano produced basaltic as well as andesitic and dacitic products from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions in the 19th century originated from the Goat Rocks area on the north flank, and were witnessed by early settlers.