Amazing Facts About Mount St Helens
Find out why Mount St Helens is so interesting.
Mount St Helens’s is part of the chain of 160 active volcanoes around the Pacific Rim, which is known as the Ring of Fire. It is a stratovolcano or composite volcano, which is a steep-sided volcano with a cone that is comprised of layers of lava, ash, and debris. Stratovolcanoes are known to erupt explosively and be more than shield volcanoes. Shield volcanoes are created by slow lava flows. They feature more gentle slopes. Here are some amazing facts about Mount St. Helens you may not be aware of.
Mount St. Helens has gone through many eruptive stages in its lifetime
Beginning 275,000 years ago, Mount St. Helens has been erupting for a very long time. While it may seem like ages, this is relatively young for a volcano when you compare it with other volcanoes that are tens of millions of years old, like the ones formed by the Hawaiian hot spot. Volcanoes can change over their lifetimes in drastic ways. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Mount St. Helens cone that was formed during the last 3000 years is currently visible.
A survey suggests Mount St. Helens size is changing
Mount St. Helens has been shrinking, according to reports.A 1982 survey measured the summit of the volcano at 8365 feet tall. Reports suggest it measured 8330 feet in 2009. It is possible that the result of erosion and collapses of crater walls may be causing the shrinkage.
Mount St. Helen is the Cascade Range’s most active volcano
Other active volcanoes in the Cascades are Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, Mount Baker, Mount Shasta, Glacier Peak, and Lassen Peak. The most recent activity among them was reportedly in the early 1900s at Lassen Peak. Mount St. Helens’ signs of erosion are less as it is the youngest among the Cascade volcanoes.
Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980
The eruption in 1980 is said to be the most powerful volcanic eruption that has occurred in the United States. A 5.1-magnitude earthquake caused a massive landslide on May 18, 1980. Blasts from the volcanic eruption were deadly and pyroclastic surge, which is a fast-moving, really hot cloud made up of ash, rock, and volcanic gas, reportedly travelled as far as 18 miles away from the blast. When the hot lava, gas, and debris mixed with melting snow and ice, it formed huge volcanic mudflows.