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Guest Thinkers

The 31st Anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens

Today is May 18 and that marks the date of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington that killed 57 people (video). I don’t have an elaborate post on the event – so if you want to find out more about this historic eruption, be sure to check out the excellent USGS site on the event. Or, you can relive (or just “live”) the events of May 18th through the memories of Eruptions readers – you all submitted two posts worth of St. Helens memories last year for the 30th anniversary.

Some fun new St. Helens-related items to examine:

  • The NASA Earth Observatory has 31 years worth of recovery (video) in the St. Helens region – always fun to see how quickly the landscape has recovered from what seems like such a permanently-altering event.
  • The USGS posted satellite video of the 1980 ash cloud as it spread out over North America.
  • The Columbian posted an article on thoughts about when St. Helens will erupt again, with USGS scientists noting that the volcano has only rebuilt 7% of its pre-1980 mass.
  • You can also check out a 3-D model of the 1980 eruption, designed to help with predicting future lateral-blast eruptions at other volcanoes worldwide.
  • Top left: The ash plume from Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980.


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