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    Author(s): Rhonda Mazza
    Date: 2010
    Source: Science Update 19. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 11 p.
    Publication Series: Science Update
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (3.34 MB)

    Description

    On May 18, 1980, after two months of tremors, Mount St. Helens erupted spectacularly and profoundly changed a vast area surrounding the volcano. The north slope of the mountain catastrophically failed, forming the largest landslide witnessed in modern times. The largest lobe of this debris avalanche raced 14 miles down the Toutle River valley, filling it to an average depth of 150 feet. The landslide unleashed hurricane-force winds of hot gases filled with rocks that toppled 143 square miles of trees. Farther away, 42 square miles of trees were killed by the heat of the blast but left standing—ghostly sentinels still watching 30 years later.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Mazza, Rhonda. 2010. Mount St. Helens 30 years later: a landscape reconfigured. Science Update 19. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 11 p.

    Keywords

    Mount St. Helens, 30th anniversary, ecological succession, geological succession, long-term research.

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