High-tech ‘spider’ probes form communication link around the mountain
On a gray Tuesday morning, a bevy of scientists clustered around a set of 14 peculiar silver boxes in a gravel parking lot near Mount St. Helens.
Anticipation was high as the group waited for the sun to burn through a blanket of low-hanging clouds. A helicopter waited nearby to hoist the packages into the volcano’s crater and around the mountain flanks, putting the sensors into position to measure every volcanic hiccup.
Northwest scientists look to remote Russian peak for clues on Cascade volcano’s future
In the late summer of 1991, Rick Hoblitt stepped out of a hulking Soviet helicopter in a mountainous stretch of Russian wilderness. Hoblitt took in the 9,453-foot peak looming on the horizon. A veteran volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Hoblitt had been dispatched to this corner of Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula to seek valuable insight from a mountain said to strongly resemble the one he left behind in Southwest Washington.
Will Mount St. Helens rebuild its top before forest returns to surrounding lands?
Forest or mountaintop, which will come first? In a colossal race between natural processes, scientists are watching geological and ecological forces race each other in real time. Some are beginning to wonder whether the mountain will rebuild its once-conical top before a forest returns to its eruption-scarred surroundings.