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Table of Contents
Mount St. Helens is an active volcano located in the state of Washington in the United States of America. It is a part of the Cascade Mountains. The most famous volcanic eruption of this volcano occurred on May 18, 1980 and it was the deadliest and most destructive volcanic event in United States history. It is often referred to as the Mount Fuji of America.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mount St. Helens or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Mount St. Helens worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- This volcano is located in the southwestern area of Washington state, 90 miles south of Seattle.
- It stands at 8,363 feet high.
- Louwala-Clough was the first given name of the volcano, which means “fire mountain” for Native American Klickitat people.
- It is a part of the Cascade Mountain Range.
- The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Cascade Mountain Range.
- The Pacific Ring of Fire surrounds the Pacific Ocean and has hundreds of volcanoes along its range.
- The volcano has erupted multiple times and these eruptions changed the volcano’s shape overtime.
- Glaciers have formed along the sides of the volcano.
- Former US President Ronald Reagan and his congress made a monument, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
- The monument is a 110,000 acre (445 km²) area which surrounds the volcano and is a part of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
TYPE OF VOLCANO
- Mount St. Helens is classified as an active composite volcano/ stratovolcano.
- Composite volcanoes are very common on the Earth’s surface.
- They consist of alternating layers of lava flows, ash, and other volcanic debris.
- They have a symmetric cone shape with very steep sides and an elevation of around 8,000 feet.
- Composite volcanoes form in the area where a tectonic plate pushes beneath another plate.
- These areas are found along the Pacific Basin and around the Mediterranean Sea.
- These volcanoes expel andesite or lava with medium silica content and is very viscous.
- The lava, which is stored in a magma chamber under the volcano, goes up through the central vent.
- If the vent is blocked, the lava will travel to the side vents called fumaroles.
- In the case of Mt. Fuji and Mt. Etna, they expel basalt lava.
- Composite volcanoes erupt very explosively and are dangerous to nearby life.
- Before the volcano’s massive eruption, volcanic activity was already observed.
- Small earthquakes were happening and steam was already coming out of the vents.
- As the earthquakes continued to occur, the crater at the top of the volcano got bigger.
- Mount St. Helens’ major eruption happened on May 18, 1980.
- A magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred and this phenomenon caused one side of the volcano to collapse.
- The collapse caused a giant landslide on its north side and it is considered to be the largest debris avalanche in history.
- The landslide occurred at around 100 miles per hour and destroyed everything on its path.
- The landslide debris hit Spirit Lake and produced 600-foot waves.
- After the landslide, the volcano had a massive magma eruption due to the increase in pressure inside the volcano.
- Superheated gases and debris were blasted out laterally and travelled at over 300 mph.
- The blast was so destructive that it burned everything on its path.
- The surrounding forest, around 230 square miles of area, were destroyed.
- A huge cloud of volcanic ash and gases formed above the volcano, producing plumes that were around 15 miles in the air.
- For the next nine hours, the volcano continued to blast ash and rocks.
- Winds blew 520 million tons of volcanic ash across 22,000 square miles of the Western United States.
- On October 11, 2004, bubbles of magma had risen to the top and this created a new lava dome on its south side.
- The new dome continued to expand until 2006.
- Solid magma, also called whaleback, was seen at the top of the volcano.
- Whaleback is a solid magma that is pushed to the top by magma under the volcano.
- Whaleback did not last long and broke down on July 2, 2005.
- The tip of the solid magma broke up causing ash to spew a hundred meters into th air.
- On March 8, 2005, a 36,000-foot plume of ash came from the volcano.
- This activity happened due the formation of a new lava dome.
- On October 22, 2006, a 3.5 magnitude earthquake broke the lava dome and the debris avalanche created an ash plume that was 2,000 feet over the crater.
- On December 19, 2006, another plume of steam happened.
Mount St. Helens Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Mount St. Helens across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mount St. Helens worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mount St. Helens which is an active volcano located in the state of Washington in the United States of America. It is a part of the Cascade Mountains. The most famous volcanic eruption of this volcano occurred on May 18, 1980 and it was the deadliest and most destructive volcanic event in United States history. It is often referred to as the Mount Fuji of America.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mount St. Helens Facts
- St. Helens Specifics
- Activity Timeline
- Breaking News
- The Cascade Range
- Seismic Elements
- Neighbors’ Names
- True or False
- Missing Terms
- Mount Fuji of America
- Volcano Vault
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