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January 16, 2008

Mount St. Helens Says 'Howdy'

It's been showing signs of renewed activity since 2004.

And recently just kicked it up a notch.

Pallister, a private pilot who works in the hazards section of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory, noticed a line of steam coming from a zipper-like fracture line atop the growing lava dome in the crater of the southwest Washington volcano.

He was flying over the volcano at the time.

The last precise measurements, drawn from images in July, indicated the latest eruptive phase has pumped 123 million cubic yards of material into the crater. The rate has slowed considerably, but the episode Sunday showed that could change at any time, Pallister said.

"Rumors of an early end of this eruption are once again shown not to be the case," he said. "It's still got some surprises."

Scientists are saying that the chances of a serious eruption seem low. But they've suspended their own visits to the crater.


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posted by Laura. at 11:38 PM

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