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Welcome to Mount St Helens at night!

Seeing the night-time activity on Mount St Helens is what this site is all about.


On the morning of 23 September 2004, the Mount St Helens volcano in Washington state (USA) rumbled back to life with hundreds of small earthquakes. The volcano began to vent steam and small amounts of ash on 1 October and the current unrest has continued at varying levels since then.

A new lava dome is also forming in the crater and the USGS  has estimated dimensions of the new lava extrusion are  approximately 1363 feet above 1980 crater floor and 1700 feet in diameter, with a total volume of 50 million cubic yards (as of 1 February 2005). For more detailed information on the Mount St Helens eruption including current updates, see the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network.

A glow in the darkness

The US Forest Service has a webcam (called appropriately enough the "Volcanocam") situated at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, about 5 miles from Mount St Helens.

On the night of 11 October, an eerie light was first noticed on the Volcanocam images. It is thought to be caused by the glow of the hot magma reflecting off steam venting from growing lava dome. When exactly did the glow first appear? Read all about using Volcanocam images to identify the birth of the glow on the night of 11/12 October 2004.


(Click for larger image)


All of the original images used on this page were downloaded from the US Forest Service Mount St. Helens Volcanocam.



If you have any feedback or would like further info about anything on this page, please send an e-mail to Darryl at: