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Apr 23 / Dave Schumaker

Mount St. Helens’ Glacier Growing

A glacier inside the crater of Mount St. Helens is apparently one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually growing. Measurements and observations by scientists from the USGS show that the volume of ice is increasing and that two “glacial arms” wrapping around the new lava dome (formed as a result of the eruption beginning in 2004) will eventually meet.

“We’ve all been surprised at how little melt has actually happened,” said Carolyn Driedger, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Vancouver. “Intuitively, you would certainly expect more snow and ice melt.”

Meanwhile, two severed “arms” of the glacier have been shoved around the old lava dome and northward down the crater slope — covering an area roughly the size of downtown Portland. The ends of the two arms, each looming 60 to 130 feet in height, lately have moved closer together in a kind of geological embrace.

[Via The Columbian]

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