Mount St. Helens Eruption

Mt. St. Helens,  WA

October 1 - 7, 2004


steam 10-1
Well this is why I headed up to Washington with 2 hours notice.  This is a picture I grabbed for the USGS  web site.  This steam event happened on Friday October 1st.  The geologists refrained from calling it an eruption.  I saw a bit of thins on TV and spent the rest of the day traveling up to Washington.

the crater
This is what the mountain looked like on Saturday from the Loowit View Point.  From here we, the press, are about five miles away from the mountain.  It steamed a bit to day and had 3-4 earthquakes per minute.  The earthquakes were so small and so far away we couldn't feel them.  The Loowit view point is about 1 mile from the Johnston Ridge Volcano Observatory and about 5 miles from the volcano. 

press conference
Later that day the volcano made some different earthquakes and we all had a press conference from the USGS, United States Geological Survey.  After the press conference we all had to evacuate this location.  The geologists thought some bigger and more explosive eruptions are imminent.

cactus at loowit
So with an impending evacuation I snapped a quick picture of the cactus.  The dead trees were blown over during the 1980 eruption. 

closeup of lava dome
Here is another picture I grabbed form the USGS website.  This is the inside of the crater.  The crater was formed during the May 18th, 1980 eruption.  The mound in the middle is the LAVA DOME.  Just above the lava dome, the white stuff, is a small glacier. 

castle presser
The next day I found the press at the Castle Lake Viewpoint.  Tom, the Seattle truck guy, starts work at 2am, then I relieve him at 11 and work until 8pm.  The Castle Lake viewpoint is about 10 miles away from the volcano. 

little further away
From Castle Lake View Point we are a bit further away but the geologists believe we will be safe if anything big happens.  So here we sat for 5 days.  Everyday we waited but the volcano never really erupted.  I missed 2 big steam releases that happened in the morning, before I got up to the view point.. 

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