Q:

What effect did Mount St. Helens have?

A:

The eruption of Mount St. Helens at 8:32 on May 18, 1980 was a major geological event that continues to have many effects on the 150 square miles surrounding the volcano. This eruption is classified as the worst volcanic disaster in United States history. In this explosion, the mountain lost its conical tip and 1,300 feet in elevation. Fifty-seven people and hundreds of animals lost their lives.

Native Americans living in the area before the first Europeans crossed the United States to the area presently known as Washington State recognized the fiery potential of the mountain. However, a period of dormancy from 1857 until the 1980 eruption had led people to lay aside any fears of the mountain. The homes they had built at the base of the volcano were destroyed when the volcano erupted. In addition, the eruption caused serious economic hardship for many in the area.

The eruption began with an earthquake that also started an avalanche. In just minutes, rock and debris traveled into Spirit Lake and 14 miles down the Toutle River. A plume of ash shot hundreds of feet into the air. While locals reported not hearing any noise with the eruption, its sound was heard in Montana and California. Ash from the volcano filled the air for weeks following the eruption, affecting all of Washington as well as surrounding states.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What damage did Mount St. Helens cause?

    A:

    The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, caused the destruction of 27 bridges, over 200 homes and 4.7 billion boards of timber. In addition, 15 miles of railway and 185 miles of highway were damaged or destroyed. Fifty-seven people also lost their lives during the eruption, and another four deaths occurred as an indirect result of the eruption.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Mount St. Helens form?

    A:

    Mount St. Helens is a cinder cone volcano that formed through the gradual accumulation of cinders and ash at the base of the mountain. Unlike a shield volcano, such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii, cinder cones can rise sharply from the surrounding terrain and maintain a steep, angular profile throughout their existence.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many times has Mt. St. Helens erupted?

    A:

    Mount St. Helens has erupted numerous times in its 300,000-year history, most notably on May 18, 1980. While much of its early history remains a mystery, geologic studies have concluded that Mount St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When is Mount St. Helens going to erupt again?

    A:

    While it is not yet possible to predict volcanic eruptions decades in advance, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory continually monitors Mount St. Helens to gather data for more accurate short-term predictive models. According to “Future Eruptions at Mount St. Helens,” this volcano is the most likely to erupt in the Cascade Mountains of Washington again in the coming decades.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore