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A Short Report On The Eruption Of Mt. Saint Helens. All Vital Facts And A Bibliography Included

967 words - 4 pages

There was a lot of excitement in Mt. Saint Helens, Washington. Geologists were monitoring the Mount Saint Helens volcano. Seismicity began several days before March 20, 1980, when an earthquake of 4.2 centered under the volcano commanded wide attention. The first of a series of small phreatic explosions occurred on March 27, accompanying the opening of a crater northward at the summit of the cone. Strong seismicity continued, at times bursts of deep volcanic tremor was felt statewide in early April but died away without returning. By mid-April a bulge was obvious on the north flank of the volcano. Seismicity continued into May, with fewer but larger earthquakes, and phreatic activity was ...view middle of the document...

It is the gas that propelled the eruption. Mt. St. Helens is on an ocean-continent subduction boundary the Juan de Fuca plate is subducting under the North American plate. Mt. St. Helens is an active strato volcano. The melted rock rises to the surface to feed the Cascade volcanoes. The body of magma moved into the shallow part of the volcano between the initial unrest (in March) and by May 18th had become so pressurized that the volcano failed and this magma was able to erupt.957 people were killed directly by the eruption. There was also a plane crash, a traffic accident, and shoveling ash, which killed a total of 7 more. So a total of 64 people died from the Mount Saint Helens eruption.10 Of those killed directly by the eruption 21 bodies were never recovered from the blast zone. 11 Destruction was extensive. The lateral blast, debris avalanche, mudflows, and flooding all contributed to the damage. All buildings and related man-made structures in the vicinity of Spirit Lake were damaged or buried. Two hundred houses were destroyed and many more were damaged in Skamania and Cowlitz Counties, leaving many homeless. Many tens of thousands of acres of forestland as well as recreational sites, trails, and four billion board feet of salable timber were destroyed or damaged. More than 185 miles of highways and roads and 15 miles of railways were destroyed or extensively damaged. State and Federal agencies estimated that over 2.4 million cubic yards of ash, equivalent to 900,000 tons in weight, were removed from highways and airports.12Wildlife suffered heavily in the area. Many agricultural crops were destroyed downwind of the volcano. 7,000 big game animals, 12...

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