VolcanoCam Images Archive

Hall of Fame Images

The VolcanoCam Hall of Fame Images Archives offers selected images of Mount St. Helens as viewed by the old VolcanoCam and the new VolcanoCam.

 

Lighting & Weather Conditions
VolcanoCam Image After Dark

Is The VolcanoCam Broken? Part I

The new VolcanoCam offers a much better color quality than the old VolcanoCam. However, in low light and no light conditions, the camera is often unable to compensate for such conditions and produces random colors, similar to a television tuned to a non-existent channel.

There is nothing wrong with the VolcanoCam or the image. This image was taken at 4:09 am PDT, on September 28, 2004. Sunrise did not occur until 6:04 am PDT.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

VolcanoCam Image With Ground Fog Blocking The View

Is The VolcanoCam Broken? Part II

Mount St. Helens is located in the Pacific Northwest where it has either just stopped raining, is currently raining, or is getting ready to rain. The camera site is at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet. It is located approximately 5 miles north-northwest from the volcano, and looks across the North Fork Toutle River Valley. This is an area which receives more than 100 inches of rain a year. Most likely, you are looking at rain, clouds, fog, and/or a combination of the three.

There is nothing wrong with the VolcanoCam or the image. This image was taken at 7:49 am PDT, on September 29, 2004. You are unable to see Mount St. Helens because of ground fog.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

A view of Mount St. Helens at Midnight under a full moon.  The outline of the mountain is visible.

A Ghostly Outline

The new VolcanoCam offers a much better color quality than the old VolcanoCam. However, in low light and no light conditions, the camera is often unable to compensate for such conditions and produces random colors, similar to a television tuned to a non-existent channel.

In this image, taken at 11:59 pm PDT, on September 27, 2004, the full moon generated enough light that the outline of Mount St. Helens is visible against the lighter sky.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

A view of Mount St. Helens with morning ground fog rolling in.

A Volcano Float, But No Ice Cream!

Weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest can sometimes change quite rapidly. This is one of only two views of Mount St. Helens the VolcanoCam was able to capture on October 15, 2004. All other daytime images are obscured by ground fog and clouds, although some clouds began to dissipate by late afternoon.

This image was taken at 8:14 am PDT, on October 15, 2004.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

 VolcanoCam - Raindrops Keep Falling On The Lens

Raindrops Keep Falling On The Lens

Mount St. Helens is located in the Pacific Northwest where it has either just stopped raining, is currently raining, or is getting ready to rain. This is an area which receives more than 100 inches of rain a year.

There is nothing wrong with the VolcanoCam or the image. This image was taken at 10:44 am PDT, on October 8, 2004. You are unable to see Mount St. Helens because of clouds in the distance, and raindrops on the external casing of the VolcanoCam. By the way, the VolcanoCam is 20 feet off of the ground under the eaves of the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Accessing the VolcanoCam requires a scaffold and a minimum of four people (safety considerations). We do not clean the lens every time it rains.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

[ VolcanoCam Image ] - An early morning image of Mount St. Helens at sunrise.

Sunrise Breaking Through The Clouds

Light, weather and the VolcanoCam camera itself often combine to produce stunning images. The above image is a prime example. The explanation of what you are viewing is best described with before and after images as well. The image at left was taken on April 29, 2005 at 0533 Hours, PDT.

The camera we use is a color/black and white camera. This means the images created are all in color, except when there is insufficient light when the camera automatically switches itself to black and white mode. This occurs twice a day, often without fanfare. But sometimes the mode switch, combined with lighting and weather, creates its own electronic art.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.



Volcano Events
VolcanoCam image taken at night with the incadescent glow of the new lava dome visible.

What Is That Glow?

It was spotted around October 11, 2004, by quite a few VolcanoCam web visitors attempting to view Mount St. Helens at night. In the image at left, all you can see is a bright white dot amid the background chatter of a night image. A preliminary analysis by a USGS geologist reveals we all may be seeing a reflected glow (from steam clouds) of the growing new dome! Only the VolcanoCam is in a location to actually see the glow.

This image was taken at 3:24 am PDT, on October 13, 2004.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

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.
NOAA Satellite Image of Mount St. Helens on February 22, 2005 at 3 am PST

Glow Big Glowworm - "Supernova" Event

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.

This image was taken on February 22, 2005 at 3:03 am PST. You may click on the image to view it full-size.

"This second 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. " - NOAA interpretation of their image.

Looking for the new dome fin on Mount St. Helens.

Finding The Fin Before It Finally Falls With A Flourish

Since November 2005, a fin (or spire) of volcanic material has been growing out of the new dome. The current size is in excess of 300 feet. This is often a regular occurrence in volcanic dome-building. The fin will only grow so far before the inherent weakness in its structure, along with gravity, causes it to collapse. Since the current volcanic activity began in October, 2004, there have been several fins and spires that have grown and collapsed. However, this is the first one visible from the VolcanoCam.

This image was taken on May 5, 2006, at 10:45 am PDT. You may click on the image to view it full-size.



Reference Images of Mount St. Helens
A clear reference image of Mount St. Helens, taken near sunset with shadows.

Reference Image of Mount St. Helens I

We installed and turned on the new VolcanoCam on September 23, 2004. However, we did not make the images available on the web for the world to see until five days later. This allowed the USGS to monitor Mount St. Helens alone, and not compete for bandwidth.

This image was taken at 5:09 pm PDT, on September 24, 2004. The clarity of the image, along with the shadows caused by the setting sun offer a striking view and an excellent reference image for comparisons with future images from the VolcanoCam.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

A clear reference image of Mount St. Helens, taken near sunset with shadows.

How Big Is Mount St. Helens?

We used the same VolcanoCam image described above and added a few reference marks to show you just how big Mount St. Helens really is compared to some typical measures.

click on the image to view it full-size and see just how big!

A clear reference image of Mount St. Helens, taken around Noon during the first day of summer.

Reference Image of Mount St. Helens II

This is a reference image from the old VolcanoCam, taken at 12:20 PM PDT, on June 21, 2002. The color quality of the image had deteriorated after more than five years of continuous operation. The camera remained functional until it died in June 2003.

The apparent size difference between this image and the image from the new VolcanoCam is due to the huge zoom lens on the old VolcanoCam.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.



How's Your Imagination?
An image of Mount St. Helens with a fly on the lens.  Everyone just wants their picture taken with an active volcano!

Mutant Fly Returns?

The old VolcanoCam caught a fly on the lens and prompted emails from all over the world. The new VolcanoCam was not yet up a few days when this happened. Everyone just wants their picture taken with an active volcano!

In this image, taken at 8:24 am PDT, on September 28, 2004, the fly is visible in the top right-hand corner. We have it on good advice it really is a fly on the lens and it is not a gigantic fly causing the earthquakes within Mount St. Helens.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

An image of Mount St. Helens with a fly on the lens.  Everyone just wants their picture taken with an active volcano!

Mutant Fly Returns? Yes!

This image was taken at 10:44 am PDT, on September 28, 2004. We believe the seismic activity on Mount St. Helens increased dramatically about this same time. Coincidence?

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

 VolcanoCam - Early Morning Light Games

Color My World of Mount St. Helens

After almost two weeks of inclement weather -- typical weather this time of the year in the Pacific Northwest -- an early morning view of Mount St. Helens offers some good weather observations for a few days.

However, the lens reflections and refractions caused by the early morning sun (and all those dried raindrops on the camera case window) also bring out the telephone calls and emails from viewers thinking (1) new lava, (2) airplanes flying through the scene, or even (3) aliens. Sorry to disappoint.

This image was taken on December 15, 2004, at 8:51 am PST.

You may click on the image to view it full-size.

A bright light event on Mount St. Helens captured by the VolcanoCam.  This is an annotated image.

See The Light!

The Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam unexpectedly captured a bright light on the west flank of the volcano on two successive evenings, May 03-04, and again on May 04-05, 2005.

From the first night's observations we determined the bright light was probably caused by a pixel glitch within the VolcanoCam itself. (The USGS and the University of Washington Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network confirm the bright light is not caused by volcanic activity.)

You may click on the image to view it full-size, complete with Flash movie.