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Giant rock growing in Mount St. Helens


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#1    Reincarnated

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:48 AM

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Giant rock growing in Mount St. Helens' crater
Friday, May 5, 2006

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- If the skies are clear as forecast, volcano watchers who turn out for the reopening of the Johnston Ridge Observatory on Friday will get a spectacular view of a hulking slab of rock that's rapidly growing in Mount St. Helens' crater.


It's jutting up from one of seven lobes of fresh volcanic rock that have been pushing their way through the surface of the crater since October 2004.

The fin-shaped mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 feet to 5 feet a day, said Dan Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

The rock in the crater began growing last November, steadily moving west and pushing rock and other debris out of its way as it goes.

Mount St. Helens, located in the Cascades of Washington, has been quietly erupting since a flurry of tiny earthquakes began in late September 2004. Scientists initially mistook the quakes as rainwater seeping into the hot interior of the older lava dome.

But it soon became clear that magma was on the move, confirmed by the emergence of fire-red lava between the old lava dome and the south crater rim a few weeks after the seismic activity began.

The volcano has continued pumping out lava ever since. Eventually, scientists expect the volcano will rebuild its conical peak that was obliterated in the May 18, 1980 eruption that left 57 people dead.

The current growth of the new lava dome has been accompanied by low seismicity rates, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases and minor production of ash, the USGS said.

"Given the way things are going now, there's no hint of any sort of catastrophic eruptions," USGS geologist Tom Pierson said. "At any time, however, things can change."

Scientists flew a helicopter into the crater late last week to adjust equipment and take photographs that will likely be used to determine just how much the new lava dome has grown the last several months.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory, which closes down every winter, is the closest observatory to the 8,364-foot peak. It is named after David A. Johnston, a volcanologist killed in the 1980 eruption. It sits about five miles north of the mountain and offers the closest views of the volcano's horseshoe-shaped crater.

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#2    Beggars

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:49 AM

jesus,thats huge


#3    exeller

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 06:11 AM

HM, looks like it's about to collapse  hmm.gif


#4    Dakotabre

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:55 PM

That is an Amazing rock... So rough on one side, yet looks so smooth on the other   hmm.gif  

Does anyone know how it got to be like that- Those two such different textures on either side?

Just thought I'd share this picture I got in an email today of Mt St Helens

Came with picture: Here in this sunrise shot, she appears to be blowing smoke rings (and anything so benign is welcomed, given recent history). What forms the "smoke rings" is the air flowing over the mountain getting pushed up higher as it goes up and over the top. The moisture content and initial temperature are just right so that the moisture condenses from a vapor to small particles at the higher altitude. When the moving air moves past the peak and comes down again, the particles evaporate back to an invisible vapor. The two "pancakes" describe that there are two layers of air for which this is happening, thus making this awesome picture possible.  

[attachmentid=25547]

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Edited by Dakotabre, 08 May 2006 - 11:58 PM.


#5    L815

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:52 AM

That's insane. The Mt St Helens is awesome as well. Man, i hope to encounter some out of the ordinary experiences throughout my lifetime.

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#6    The Silver Thong

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:58 AM

I was just a kid when it blew it's top but I still remember my dad cleaning the ash of the car and I live a ways away from it.  There has been alot of activity there and I think in the near future we may experience it again,but volcanoes some say easy to predict and I say not sure.

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#7    Proud Mexican

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:55 AM

That is a freaking awesome pic...I'm originally from that area...i'm from the yakima valley where it was pitch black at noon..well thats what my mom told me..actually i'll be headed back that way this week i'll see if I can check it out when I fly over it..

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#8    manapa99

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:08 PM

what happens when it moves up for about 10 more feet and then there's a door? lol
j/k
either way it's really awsome, and a great picture thanks

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#9    GrayTone

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:41 PM

I better not have to clean up ashes again

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#10    shun

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:19 PM

Awesome “monolith” (gravity may cause it to collapse).

Infrared -

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#11    Reincarnated

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 08:04 PM

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awesome view, very mysterious. i wonder how the lava is creating a rock like that.

Edited by Reincarnated, 09 May 2006 - 08:05 PM.


#12    magnetar

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:48 AM

wow

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#13    SkepticDood

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:47 AM

LOL, I live in the seattle area, all we can see from here is Mt Raineer.. wonder what thats gonna look like when it blows up


#14    Bone_Collector

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 06:09 AM

While, it's not really uncommon to see huge growing mountains and rocks, this rock is still a strange sight. It's rough on one side and so very smooth on the other. Hard to believe that volcanic activity is causing it to grow this way; maybe it is an already formed huge rock which is now slowly being pushed up over the surface by volcanic rock beneath making it appear as though it is growing.

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#15    Reincarnated

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:25 AM

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Hard to believe that volcanic activity is causing it to grow this way; maybe it is an already formed huge rock which is now slowly being pushed up over the surface by volcanic rock beneath making it appear as though it is growing.
thats what i was thinking. it looks like a rock being pushed up from under sand. i thought maybe it was a huge chunk of mountain from the mount. st. helends eruption that collapsed and is now being pushed up through the soil but if you look at the temperatures you can see how it gets real hot towards the base. the article says its newly formed volcanic rock too but who knows.






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