Volcano Case Study: Mount St. Helens, U.S.A
Mt. St.Helens Eruption
In May 1980 Mount St.Helens, an
active volcano in the Cascade Range of mountains in the western USA, erupted
with unexpected violence after over 100 years of inactivity.
The eruption was unique because
the mountain had been carefully monitored by scientists during the months before
the eruption, and sensitive measuring equipment was still in place when the
Measurements and even video footage
of the eruption were recorded, making it one of the best recorded eruptions
available to scientists. The wealth of data, the magnitude of the eruption and
the devastation it caused, make it an excellent Case Study of an erupting composite
Print out and read the article about
Helens, then answer the following questions.
- What name is used to describe
scientists who study volcanoes?
- Mount St.Helens is part of the
Cascade Range of mountains. How did this range of mountains form, and how
does its formation explain the presence of active volcanoes such as Mt. St.Helens?
- In your own words write a short
account of the clues available to the scientists that suggested an eruption
- The eruption began in the morning
of 18th May 1980. Read carefully through the account of the eruption and produce
a diary of the events that happened between 8:30 am on 18th May and 5th June
the same year. List all the events mentioned in the account, and add any other
information you can discover from other sources such as books and internet
- How and why did the mountain's
covering of snow and ice contribute to the extent of the disaster?
- From what you have read, and
discovered from other sources, explain how the eruption effected the lives,
both social and business, of the communities around the volcano. What short
term and long term effects did the eruption have on the human population?
- Why do you think that people
choose to live in areas close to mountains such as Mt St.Helens, when they
know that there could be volcanic eruptions?
Click to go