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Wednesday, February 23

Mount St. Helens Bubbling and Boiling


Published February 23, 2005

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Washington -- Mount St. Helens has shown an upswing in volcanic activity over the past two days, U.S. volcano scientists reported.

Small collapses of hot rock from the south end of the lava dome -- which is growing at a rate of about 15 feet per day -- have sent several ash clouds upward and over the rim of the mile-wide crater, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists at Johnston Ridge Observatory, about five miles northeast of the volcano.

About 3 a.m. Tuesday, scientists said they detected a seismic signal and witnessed a bright glow inside the crater that persisted for about 15 minutes. The glow apparently resulted from the collapse of material at the top of the lava dome, which for that brief time exposed hot rock from deeper inside the mountain.

The last major eruption at Mount St. Helens occurred in May 1980, when the volcano lost nearly a quarter-mile of its elevation. The latest activity, which began last Oct. 11, is not expected to result in a comparable event, scientists said

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