Cascades Volcano Observatory

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Surveying stream channels at Mount St. Helens...
January 17, 2014

Surveying stream channels at Mount St. Helens

Scientists conduct a stream channel cross-section survey of the Toutle River on the north side of Mount St. Helens (view to the southwest).

Spectrogram from Central Pumice Cone Seismic Station, Newberry Volc...
December 5, 2013

Lake-Ice Quakes from Newberry Volcano

The popping and cracking of ice in lakes within the Newberry Volcano caldera is picked up by local seismic stations, such as Central Pumice Cone. The lake-ice quakes do not resemble standard volcanic low-frequency or high-frequency events and are sporadically observed in the winter at other ice-covered lakes in Yellowstone, Long Valley, and elsewhere.

Monitoring river discharge near Mount St. Helens, Washington....
October 30, 2013

Monitoring river discharge near Mount St. Helens, WA.

Crews test two methods of measuring discharge of the Muddy River near Mount St. Helens, Washington. The computer and tethered orange float create a vertical discharge profile; the hand-held flow tracker confirms the data. Data collection is becoming more electronic-oriented with periodic confirmation of results by physical observations.

Maintenance at Acoustic Flow Monitor near Mount St. Helens, Washing...
October 18, 2013

Maintenance at Acoustic Flow Monitor near Mount St. Helens, WA

Repairs are made to an Acoustic Flow Monitor (AFM) located at the confluence of the North Fork Toutle River, Maratta, Castle and Coldwater Creeks, where the most recent lahar occurred in November, 2006. AFMs are installed to "hear" when lahars [muddy debris flows] move down channel so affected communities can be warned of the hazard.

SWFL seismic station, on the crater rim of Mount St. Helens, was re...
August 7, 2013

SWFL seismic station, on the crater rim of Mount St. Helens, was re...

This summer, crews made significant modifications to a monitoring station on the southwest flank of Mount St. Helens, greatly improving its operability in winter. Volcano monitoring stations are designed to integrate many instruments into a single package to lower power requirements, reduce instrument footprint on sensitive landscapes, be portable for rapid deployment and

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Annual surveys of water channels in the crater of Mount St. Helens ...
August 7, 2013

Annual surveys of water channels in the crater of Mount St. Helens ...

Crews survey Loowit Creek channel and other points inside the crater. Elevation information is used to make a longitudinal profile of the channel, characterizing areas where sediment is either deposited or transported and how the channel is changing with time. View to the north, with Spirit Lake and Mount Rainier in the background.

Image shows a scientific instrument on the slopes of Mount St Helens
August 6, 2013

Precise Surveying of Mount St. Helens Crater with RTK-GPS Technology

A survey base station is established using a RTK-GPS receiver with mobile units to collect data points in and around the crater. Information will be used to monitor surface changes, deformation, erosion and aggradation inside the crater. This type of technology is precise to the centimeter. View is to the south of Mount St. Helens, toward Crater Glacier and the lava domes

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Taking the pulse of Mount St. Helens Volcano, Washington....
August 6, 2013

Taking the pulse of Mount St. Helens Volcano, WA.

Monitoring and upgrading ground-based sensor networks at the most active volcano in the Cascades is an on-going process. Crews made significant modifications to a seismic monitoring station on the southwest flank of Mount St. Helens, greatly improving its operability in winter.

Precise surveying of Mount St. Helens crater with RTK-GPS technolog...
August 6, 2013

Precise surveying of Mount St. Helens crater with RTK-GPS technology.

A survey base station is established using a RTK-GPS receiver with mobile units to collect data points in and around the crater. Information will be used to monitor surface changes, deformation, erosion and aggradation inside the crater. This type of technology is precise to the centimeter. View to the south, toward Crater Glacier and the lava domes.

Erosional channels lead away from the northern face of Crater Glaci...
August 6, 2013

Erosional channels lead away from Crater Glacier, Mount St. Helens

Crater Glacier, located inside the crater of Mount St. Helens, continues to move at an average rate of about 11 cm per day (4.3 inches). During warm weather months, meltwater creates erosional channels on the crater floor. Pictured at the center bottom of the image are newly carved (over the last two years) seasonal channels 2-4 m (6-13 ft) deep that funnel water to the

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