This essay GEOLOGY 170 REPORT has a total of 1008 words and 4 pages.



Mount St. Helens is located in southwestern Washington about 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helen is one of several volcanic peaks that dominate the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest. The principal part of the range extends from Mount Garibaldi in British Columbia, Canada, to Lassen Peak in northern California. It was considered one of most beautiful mountains in the Cascade Mountain Range. St. Helens was often compared to Mount Fuji in Japan because of the mountain's similarity in appearance. All of that would change on May 18, 1980 when the young and quiet Mt. St. Helens decided to become an active volcano and cause the worst natural disaster in the history of the U.S.
The eruption was triggered by a massive mudslide on the side of the mountain. All the material that slid away from the mountain caused a lateral blast that could be heard hundreds of miles away. The lateral blast only lasted a few minutes of a nine-hour eruption. After the mountain was forced open by the lateral blast the mountain erupted in full force. Mt. St. Helens ejected a cloud of ash 15 miles into the air. The ash being ejected into the atmosphere blanketed virtually the entire Northwest a blanket of ash. Towns as far away as Spokane Washington were covered in the choking ash. Day turned into night as the mountain erupted. Roads and highways at a stand still. Mt. St. Helens was creating it's own weather systems. 150 square miles of forest and recreation area were destroyed in minutes. Hot pyroclastic clouds of ash burnt everything in sight. Trees knocked down because of the massive blast the mountain released. Mudflows wiped out entire river systems and lakes in the Mt. St. Helen area. The Columbia River, which borders the states of Oregon and Washington, was affected by mudflows. The giant river is about 70 river miles from St. Helens. The shipping canal was blocked because of the mudflows and needed to be dredged for passage. That May 18 day will be remembered forever because of the power that Mother Nature displayed.
As soon as the mountain erupted the National Guard was called in to try and find survivors. As soon as it was possible and clear enough to fly into the blast zone choppers were sent to see the damage that has been done. The terrain, which at one time was green, was now gray and burnt. The smell of sulfur was in the air. A total of 60 people were dead or missing after the erupt

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