Report on St. Helens (United States) — 8 February-14 February 2006
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 February-14 February 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on St. Helens (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 February-14 February 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
46.2°N, 122.18°W; summit elev. 2549 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continued during 8-15 February, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. Comparison of photos taken between 17 December and 7 February showed that the base of the active lobe of the lava dome enlarged by about 100 meters. A series of photographs taken during the week of 5 February showed that the active part of the new lava dome continued to extrude, with points on the surface of the dome moving a couple of meters per day. St Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
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.