35 Years Later – The Eruption of Mount St. Helens (Science is Awesome)

want to go here and just marvel

Be Like Water

120517-Mount-St.-Helens-660

Photo by USGS.

In 1980 a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens, a volcano located in the state of Washington, United States. The eruption was the only significant one to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states since the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a huge bulge and a fracture system on the mountain’s north slope. An earthquake at 8:32:17 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, 1980, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away creating the largest landslide ever recorded. This suddenly exposed the partly molten, gas- and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The rock responded by exploding a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock toward Spirit Lake so fast that it overtook the…

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