Where were you in 1980?
Thirty years ago today, one of the most significant geologic events of the 20th century took place here in Washington.
On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. In a big way.
The largest terrestrial landslide in recorded history knocked 1,300 feet off the summit and triggered a lateral blast. Within 3 minutes, that lateral blast, traveling at more than 300 miles per hour, had scorched more than 200 square miles of forest. Within 15 minutes, a vertical plume of volcanic ash reached 80,000 feet into the sky.
That’s three facts. You can read 27 more facts about Mount St. Helens here: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/MSH/30Years/framework.html.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was established in 1982 to preserve a landscape changed forever by the raw power of the earth. Today, a visit to the Monument confirms the remarkable ability of plants and animals to recover from such dramatic events. It is a place for people to witness change and be changed, too. Take part in one of WTA’s work parties on the Loowit Trail this summer and you’ll get a whole new perspective on the mountain.
- Did you climb the mountain before it erupted?
- Where were you on May 18, 1980?
- Do you have plans to visit the mountain this summer?
Share your St. Helens story with us.