Crews from the USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory return from working with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Plate Boundary Observatory, and IRIS' Transportable Array to repair, refurbish and rebuild volcano monitoring stations in Alaska, including the installation of a new volcanic gas monitoring site at the summit of Augustine. The station is similar to the SNIF monitoring station that currently operates in the crater of Mount St. Helens. Visit the Alaska Volcano Observatory to see volcano updates and recent images of fieldwork. Read about volcanic gas monitoring at Mount St. Helens and view a month's worth of monitoring data by clicking on Mount St. Helens Monitoring and zooming into the crater to find station SNIF on the interactive map.
Research geologist Carl Thornber leads a group of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument interpretive rangers and volunteers along the boardwalk at the Trail of Two Forests, explaining the formation of lava tubes and tree molds. The longest lava flow at Mount St. Helens is the 1900-year-old Cave Basalt Flow, erupted from a vent on the south flank of the volcano which traveled 11 km (~7 miles) downslope to the Lewis River. Many flow features are still visible including the Ape Cave lava tube. This pahoehoe flow is similar in composition, size and physical character to tube-fed lava flows that are currently active at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii. Plan a visit to the Ape Cave Interpretive Site to learn more about the Pre-1980 Eruptive History of Mount St. Helens, Washington. Visit the Hawaii Volcano Observatory for images and information about Kīlauea.
USGS-CVO is using airborne lidar data to develop Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the Mount St. Helens area. DEMs are a useful tool for monitoring natural hazards, studying volcanic landforms and tracking changes in fluvial and glacial geomorphology. The DEMs were created from lidar data collected in 2007 and 2009, and are available for download in 1- and 10-m resolutions, and as a 1-m hillshade. These geospatial data files require geographic information system (GIS) software for viewing.