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Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continues, and is accompanied by intermittent emissions of steam and ash. As long as this eruption is in progress, episodic changes in the level of activity can occur over days, weeks, or even months. Increase in the intensity of eruption could occur suddenly or with very little warning and may include explosive events that produce hazardous conditions within several miles of the volcano. Small lahars (volcanic debris flows) could suddenly descend the Toutle River valley if triggered by heavy rain or by interaction of hot rocks with snow or glacier ice. These lahars pose a negligible hazard below the Sediment Retention Structure (SRS) but could pose a hazard to people along the river channel upstream of the SRS. At this time of year, it is not unusual for rivers draining the volcano to contain high concentrations of sediment that turn the water murky.
Originally posted by Gazrok
Given the recent activity of Rainier, that prediction just may be balls on accurate....
For those who don't know, this mountain is pretty much right near the entire Seattle metro area....so an eruption there would be a MAJOR catastrophic event.
Mount St. Helens' new lava dome is starting to push its increasing weight around, even beginning to shift its older and larger cousin a few centimeters a day across the inside of the crater.
The current eruption is adding lava to the inside of the crater faster than previous dome-building periods lasting at least a few weeks that occurred between 1980 and 1986. Geologists currently consider the new growth a separate dome but later might describe it as a lobe to the older dome, depending on the growth pattern, Willie Scott, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, said Thursday .
The new dome is now taller than the original bulge but still about a quarter to a third of its size. Earlier size estimates for the new dome included the glacial ice cap above it, but much of that has melted off. The dome is still growing by several meters each day, Scott said.