VolcanoCam Images Archive

Hall Of Fame Images

Big Glowworm - "Supernova" Event
An early morning image of Mount St. Helens of a small collapse of hot rock from the south end of the growing lava dome, exposing hot, incandescent rock deeper in the dome.

Small collapses of hot rock from the south end of the growing lava dome sent several ash clouds upward and over the crater rim during the past 24 hours. Shortly after 3 a.m. this morning a seismic signal from such an event was accompanied by a bright glow that persisted on the VolcanoCam for about 15 minutes. The glow results from the collapse exposing hot, incandescent rock deeper in the dome. The USGS reports this rockfall scar is roughly 100 meters long and 50 meters high.

This image was taken on February 22, 2005 at 3:03 am PST.

NOAA Weather Satellite Image of the Big Glowworm - "Supernova" Event
NOAA Satellite Image of Mount St. Helens on February 22, 2005 at 3 am PST

"This image is a NOAA weather satellite capture of the 3.9 micron IR channel which is sensitive to sub-pixel heat from wildfires and large cities (and apparently exposed lava as well). The dark pixels correspond with the approximate location of the lava dome. These pixels each represent a 4km square, so the fact that 2-3 pixels were 'hot' through the 1+ hour period suggests this lava was extraordinarily hot." - NOAA interpretation of their image.

Please understand the NOAA weather satellite is not designed to locate volcanic events. The hot spot pixelation is caused by the satellite camera being overwhelmed by an IR signature greater than 500*C. Normally the image is capturing temperatures at around 10-15*C this time of the year. The actual hot spot exposure is approximately 100 meters by 50 meters according to the USGS.

This image was taken on February 22, 2005 at 3:15 am PST. Image courtesy of NOAA National Weather Service in Spokane, Washington. If you click on the image you will download the complete satellite image as received by us from NOAA (360 kb).