The United States contains in its history the most significant volcanic eruption to occur in the lower forty-eight states. When Mount St. Helen's erupted, the effects were seen by many, and scientists were fascinated with learning about the volcano. Much research was conducted looking into the economic, ecological, and personal aspects of the eruption. Mount St. Helens proves to be a memorable landmark to all Americans and still a source of fascination today for a variety of persons.
Mount Saint Helens, an active stratovolcano, is located in southwest Washington State. The volcano erupted on May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 a.m. The eruption was triggered by a 5.1 earthquake centered beneath the mountain (Mount). People 200 miles away later said they heard a thunderous roar (St.). Mount St. Helens was 9,677 feet high before the eruption and 8,363 after (Eruption). Because of the eruption, the largest landslide in recorded history swept down the mountain as speeds of 70 to 150 miles per hour and buried the North Fork of the Toutle River under and average of 150 feet of debris (Mount). The lateral blast swept out of the north side of the mountain at 300 miles per hour devastating a fan-shaped area 23 miles across and 19 miles long. About 230 square miles of forest were knocked down within an 8-mile inner-fan area, and extreme heat killed trees miles beyond the blow-down zone. The snow on the mountain that was not instantly flashed to steam by the heat melted and formed large mudflows that destroyed 27 bridges, 200 homes, 185 miles of roadway, and 15 miles of railway. The massive as cloud rose above the mountain to 80,000 feet in 15 minutes and reached the east coast in three days (Eruption). Tragically, there were 57 deaths as a result of the eruption (Mount). Of these, 21 of the bodies were never found (Eruption). The event was the most deadly volcanic eruption in the United States. 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway were...
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