© Susan Wyatt
Ten years ago this week, Mount St. Helens awoke from an 18-year geological slumber.
The news media and volcano-watchers flocked to Johnston Ridge, the closest road with a crater view. Steam and ash eruptions shot thousands of feet into the air, and for several weeks, the area near the volcano was closed because of safety concerns.
Over the next three years, a second lava dome slowly appeared in the crater, eventually rising 1,076 feet above the crater floor. By the time the eruption ended in 2008, climbers had already been allowed back to the summit and media attention faded.
Though the mountain isn't getting as much publicity these days, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are marking the anniversary to highlight new eruption warning technology they've installed around the volcano since then and to remind people that Mount St. Helens will continue to rebuilt itself.
The eruption that started a decade ago was the second of two dome-building phases.
The first one started after the explosive eruption of May 18, 1980. Twenty lava eruptions occurred over the next six years.
Geologists were surprised that the mountain stopped erupting in 1986. "Many of us were expecting it to continue a while," said USGS seismologist Seth Moran.