Cascades Volcano Observatory

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The sound of summer: rockfall inside the crater of Mount St. Helen...
August 6, 2013

The sound of summer: rockfall inside the crater of Mount St. Helens.

In summer, the crater of Mount St. Helens is filled with a near constant sound of rockfall from the steep 600 m high (about 2000 feet) crater walls. The falling rock kicks up ash and dust (pulverized rock) as it tumbles onto the crater floor. View of east crater wall.

Steam vent near 1980-1986 dome, in the crater of Mount St. Helens....
August 6, 2013

Steam vent near 1980-1986 dome, in the crater of Mount St. Helens.

Steaming continues on the 1980-1986 dome. View to the south and the east arm of Crater Glacier.

Fumerole near Mount St. Helens' 1980-86 dome maintains hole in Crat...
August 6, 2013

Fumerole near Mount St. Helens' 1980-86 dome

A fumerole near the 1980-86 dome keeps an open hole in the east arm of Crater Glacier. The hole is approximately 12 m (40 ft) in diameter, easily wide enough to hold a school bus and deep enough so you could not see the bus' top. View to the south.

Monitoring channel erosion and aggradation, Mount St. Helens (North...
August 6, 2013

Monitoring channel erosion and aggradation, Mount St. Helens (North...

Fieldwork includes direct observations of changes to streams and stream beds to determine how changes will affect the downstream transportation of sediments. Here, the braided North Fork Toutle (left) joins Carbonate Springs Creek (right). View to the east.

Helicopter gives SWFL "swing set" a lift, Mount St. Helens....
August 6, 2013

Helicopter gives SWFL "swing set" a lift, Mount St. Helens.

Monitoring stations need to be portable. Weighing about 500 pounds, this "swing set" structure can be airlifted into place or moved, as volcano monitoring needs change. An additional 1,000 pounds of equipment will need to be added to make the station fully functional.

Touchdown at monitoring site in Mount St. Helens' crater....
August 6, 2013

Touchdown at monitoring site in Mount St. Helens' crater.

Crews access remote monitoring sites by helicopter. Pictured out the window of the helicopter is a GPS and camera station, dedicated to remotely monitoring changes inside the crater and under the crater floor.

Field Studies at Mount St. Helens...
July 19, 2013

Field Studies at Mount St. Helens

Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) students Javier Pacheco (Costa Rica) and Syegi Kunrat (Indonesia) participate in field studies at Mount St. Helens.

Teachers take a guided walk on the Hummocks Trail at Mount St. Hele...
June 25, 2013

Teachers take a guided walk on the Hummocks Trail at Mount St. Helens

Teachers take a guided walk on the Hummocks Trail, learning about the depositional features of the May 18, 1980 eruption.

Teachers learn about hummocks at Mount St. Helens workshop....
June 24, 2013

Teachers learn about hummocks at Mount St. Helens workshop.

Todd Cullings, with the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, leads teachers in activities they can do with students before hiking the Hummocks Trail.

Maintenance at the September Lobe Monitoring Station at Mount St. H...
April 24, 2013

Maintenance at the Sep. Lobe Monitoring Station at Mount St. Helens.

The September Lobe monitoring station is part of the network of monitoring stations that detects and reports subtle changes in the volcanic vent area. At 2150 m (about 7100 ft) elevation, maintenance is performed during good weather to keep the station fully functional.

Rime ice coats telemetry system at Mount St. Helens....
February 27, 2013

Rime ice coats telemetry system at Mount St. Helens.

To monitor volcanoes, scientists rely on remote monitoring equipment that can operate 24-hours a day and 365-days a year to deliver real-time data. When scientists design and install monitoring stations, they must consider the remoteness of sites, terrain, and winter conditions. Here, rime ice coats a telemetry system that transmits data near Mount St. Helens, Washington

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