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    Author(s): V.H. Dale; C.M. Crisafulli; F.J. Swanson
    Date: 2005
    Source: Science, Vol. 308: 961-962
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (460 KB)


    18 May 2005 marks the 25th anniversary of the massive eruption of Mount St. Helens. This eruption involved diverse geological processes (1) that disturbed forests, meadows, lakes, an drivers (2) (see the figure). A huge landslide and searing flows of hot gases and pumic framents (pyroclastic flows) inundated 60 km2 of land, obliterating preexisting ecosystems and landforms. A steam-driven blast left blown-down forest and scorched standing forest over more than 500 km2, but deposited generally <1 m of new material. A gentle rain of tephra (airborne volcanic rock fragments) fell from the sky and blanketed >1000 km2 of live forest and aquatic systems with >5 cm of deposits (2). The initial impression of a lifeless landscape quickly changed as surviving plants and animals reemerged.

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    Dale, V.H.; Crisafulli, C.M.; Swanson, F.J. 2005. 25 years of ecological change at Mount St. Helens. Science, Vol. 308: 961-962

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