The Volcanic Eruption Of Mount Saint Helens

778 words - 3 pages

The Volcanic Eruption of Mount Saint Helens

On the 18th of May 1980 mount saint. Helens Erupted all thought Mount
Saint Helens is a volcano the eruption in 1980 was actually caused by
an earthquake the earthquake was 5.0 on the Richter scale. The tremor
trigged the biggest landslide ever recorded this was due to molten
rock movement.

Mount Saint Helens is part of the Cascade Range which has numerous
volcanoes thought Mount Saint Helens is the most active.

Text Box: Fig 1[IMAGE]There are many causes of the Mount Saint Helens
eruptions. To begin with the area North West USA is at the boundary of
two plates the Pacific and North American Plate, this is a
conservative plate margin with the plates moving past each, with these
two particular plates the movement is a little more complicated (see
fig .1) the Juan de Fuca plate has both constructive and destructive
plate margins adjacent to the north American plate. The Juan de Fuca
plate is thought of as sub ducting beneath the North American plate.
Thus the Juan De Fuca Oceanic Plate undergoes melting and the melt is
of lower density than the crust thus is rises to the surface from 60
miles below the surface. The earthquake of the 18th May 1980 was
connected with this movement

The Volcanic Eruption of Mount Saint Helens had a huge effect on the
landscape this was to the sheer power of what happened, firstly the
5.0RM Earthquake trigged the upper north flank to collapse which in
turn became a major landslide. The collapse of the north flank
produced the largest landslide avalanche recorded in historic time.
The initial blast of incandescent gas fluidise magma which vented
thought at velocity of 50m per second the descending landslide. The
sudden removal of the upper part of the volcano by the landslides
triggered the almost instantaneous expansion (explosion) of high
temperature-high pressure steam present in cracks and voids in the

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