After over a decade of silence, Mount St. Helens has started to rumble. Following a week of threatening earthquakes, the volcano belched forth a plume of ash and steam on October 1, 2004. Hot rock pushed to the surface, vaporizing the mountain glaciers into steam. The earthquakes continued over the course of the following three days accompanied by another small steam eruption.
On October 4, a second cloud of steam billowed from the mountain for about 40 minutes starting at 9:43 a.m., local time. Two hour later, the Ikonos satellite captured this detailed image of the volcano’s crater. A small cloud of steam and ash can be still be seen rising from the left edge of the circular crater in the center of the image. The surface of the volcano bears scars from past activity with silvery ribbons of lava radiating from the center.
Mount St. Helens continues to be restless five months after it started to erupt. On March 8, the volcano erupted in a location away from the growing lava dome, producing a large ash cloud and silencing several monitoring stations.