Thermal imaging of Helens shows red glow
Vancouver, Wash. Scientists have released new pictures of Mount St. Helens showing the red glow of the new dome that has been growing inside the volcano's crater. The pictures were taken with a FLIR camera mounted to a helicopter and the images help scientists track lava movement that might otherwise be hard to see. "It's very viscous, so it's going to kind of ooze out, more like toothpaste as opposed to water," says Dave Schneider with the U.S. Geological Survey. The old dome took six years to build, but the new one is already a quarter of that size after just a matter of weeks. "Another thing that we're looking for is to see if the old dome has fractures forming in it," says Schneider. "And that might be a precursor to some kind of collapse. And we haven't seen anything like that." Mount St. Helens remains at a Level 2 alert status, which a volcano advisory. Meanwhile, scientists are continuing to closely monitor Mount St. Helens,. Two new GPS stations were installed this week to measure ground deformation on the dome and scientists are studying the new thermal images. According to the latest report from the USGS, seismicity remains at a low level and is consistent with a continuing, slow rise of magma that pushing its way up to the surface.