Introduction: How and Why was the Mount St. Helens Eruption of May 17, 1980?
Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, exploding and destroying the summit of the mountain. The eruption lasted for about a day before it began to show signs of a calm. Then, in the next few days before the mountain cooled, it changed from a calm eruption to a violent eruption. The volcano blew its top off and sent ash and lava thousands of feet into the air. This eruption was so powerful that it even destroyed the town of Monitor. It destroyed the forest, and it flipped over cars. It killed 57 people, and injured 200 more.
The eruption at Mount St. Helens was one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in recorded history. It has been given the nickname “The morning of May 18 will live in infamy” by geologists because of its huge impact on that area.
The volcano was not always known as Mount St. Helens. It had several other names given to it by people who have passed by or have used its location for the rest of their lives. It was called Crescent or Mount Hinman before 1857 and only became Mount St. Helens in 1892 when it was renamed by W.A.Lloyd, an engineer from Oregon who had been named after a friend of his, John Bellingham Lloyd, as a tribute to his knowledge of geology and engineering. It was known by the name of St. Helens for about forty years until it was officially changed in 1980 by United States Geological Survey to its original name of Mount St. Helens because of its threat to erupt.
How to Find Out What Happened During the Mount St. Helen’s Eruption on May 17th 1980?
The best way tp find out what happened is to talk to someone that was there. They were actually able to witness the eruption and were living in the surrounding area at the time. Another way to find out is by going on Google and typing in “1980’s Mount St. Helens.” There will be many websites that will have facts and videos of the eruption. Keeping in mind that many people do not know that Mount St. Helens has erupted almost 30 times in history (not including the 1980 eruption).
In order to get a hold of someone that was there, you can go on Google and type in “i survived the eruption of Mount St. Helens 1980.” This will bring up a website with people that actually lived through the eruption, and you can email them or talk to them on the phone. http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index. ssf/2010/11/how_to_find_out_what_happened.html
“Mount St Helens in eruption, May 18th 1980, as seen from Spirit Lake.”
“Mount St Helens on the day of its eruption, May 18th 1980.”
What is a Volcano?
A volcano is a mountain that is constantly changing. The magma (the heat) is constantly flowing through a mountain, cooling it and making it erupt. Volcanos are formed when two plates are moving together with two continents or ocean basins colliding. When the magma reaches the surface of the earth, it creates an eruption. One way to get to know how volcanoes are formed is on YouTube by typing in “how volcanoes form. It will show a video about colliding plates.”
The lava is formed as a result of a chemical reaction. This is where heat and pressure cause solid rock to melt. The magma flows through the volcano, cooling the magma. When it cools enough, it can flow out of the mountain and form lava. The lava can sometimes flow very fast (like when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980) or form columns that stick up out of the ground (as with Kilauea).
This video shows how volcanoes are formed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhQEcfW8Vg4
Volcanoes can also be formed by many other things, like a subduction zone. A subduction zone is when one tectonic plate moves underneath another tectonic plate.
In the end, volcanoes form because of a chemical reaction caused by the heat and pressure of the earth. By Regan L.
Sources: Google defines; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhQEcfW8Vg4; http://www.mattwoodward.com/volcano.html;
Knowledge area: Geography, Earth Science, Life Sciences, Physical Science
Background knowledge: What is a volcano?
What is the difference between volcanoes and mountains?
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What Are Some of the Things That Occurred during the Mount St. Helen’s Eruption on May 17th 1980?
After the eruption started, it did not make much noise. When the mountain began to get warmer it became more explosive. In fact, Mount St. Helens was so loud that it went through the phone lines. The people in the area could hear this on their radio. Then a few seconds later there was an earthquake and ash was blown into the air from the eruption. Several minutes later lava began to pour out of the top of Mt. St. Helens. Then the lava went over a ridge and fell down the mountain, destroying the surrounding area. The eruption eventually blew off Mt. St. Helens’ summit and made a massive hole on top of it. Until now, there is still ash around the mountain and never was able to grow back what was there before. This is what happened to Mount St. Helens on May 17th, 1980.
Articles from the “Carsonville News” on May 25th, 1980. [temporary link]
TITLE:ST HELENS RETURNS TO THE SADDLE
I t is a problem for geologists who study volcanoes — how do you evaluate a volcanic eruption when it only lasted seconds?
A Mount St. Helens eruption Saturday night was like that of 1970, they said today.
Carsonville grade school teacher Lillian Morgan was driving home when she saw an eruption of light in the distance, followed by a loud noise. People she saw said they had been watching lava flow down the south side of Mount St. Helens from Mount Adams.
Mountain Guides Dave Scholfield and Billy Heichel watched the eruption from their nest on top of Mount Adams in hopes that it would erupt again in about three days time.
Sensors in the crater recorded only a 1,000-foot eruption. But what about all the lava that flowed down the mountain — was it simply blown out of the crater by the force of the eruption?
What Happened during the Mt. St. Helen’s Eruption on May 17th 1980?
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