Report on St. Helens (United States) — 2 January-8 January 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
2 January-8 January 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on St. Helens (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 January-8 January 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
46.2°N, 122.18°W; summit elev. 2549 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Data from deformation-monitoring instruments indicated that during 2-8 January lava-dome growth at Mount St. Helens continued. Seismicity persisted at low levels, punctuated by M 1.5-2.5, and occasionally larger, earthquakes. A new small spine was seen on top of the active lobe during an overflight on 31 December. The spine was hot enough to be snow-free and interpreted as confirmation that the dome continued to grow. Clouds frequently inhibited visual observations.
Geological Summary. Prior to 1980, Mount St. Helens formed a conical, youthful volcano sometimes known as the Fujisan 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 2,200 years ago, tephra, lava domes, and pyroclastic flows were erupted, forming the older edifice, but few lava flows extended beyond the base of the volcano. The modern edifice consists of 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.