Land & Resources Management

Spirit Lake: Science, Maps, and Data

Since its 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helen has become the most studied and monitored volcano in the country. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument includes a 30,000 acre area encompassing the crater, pumice plain and Spirit Lake designated a Class 1 Research area. The designation identifies providing the maximum opportunity for natural processes and features to continue unimpeded in the most sensitive area.

A vast number of studies and research reports are available and in progress about Spirit Lake and Mount St. Helens. 

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Report

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Decision Framework for Managing the Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 

Pacific Northwest Research Station Publications

Watts, Andrea; 2019, August. The Spirit Lake dilemma: Engineering a solution for a lake with a problematic outlet. Science Findings, Issue 218, Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Grant, G., & Major, J., & Lewis, S.; 2017, June. The Geologic, Geomorphic, and Hydrologic Context Underlying Options for Long-Term Management of the Spirit Lake Outlet Near Mount St. Helens, Washington. Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report, PNW-GTR-954.

View additional Pacific NW Research Station Publications 

Data Sources

Current Spirit Lake surface elevation (U.S. Geological Survey)

Lakes and drainages around Mount St. Helens  (U.S. Geological Survey)

Mount St. Helens Volcanocam (U.S. Forest Service)