Mt St Helens Research Paper

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On May the 18th 1980, Mt Saint Helens in Washington State, United States of America erupted covering surrounding areas in ash, mud, toxic gases and lava. Mt Saint Helens is one of many active volcanos in the Cascade Mountain Range that runs along the Pacific Coast of the United States of America, a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, named due to the many active tectonic plates in the region. The blast devastated an area of 20 square km. Within 10km of the summit, were there had previously been dense forest, no trees remained, beyond this area all trees were blown down. A further 600km2 was covered in ash and debris. Mt Saint Helens had been showing signs of erupting for 2 months, such as small explosions, seismic movements and the north slope…show more content…
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the US government turned the volcano and the surrounding areas into a national monument (Figure 3). This allowed people to do activities like climbing, hiking, helicopter tours, hours riding, fishing and elk viewing on the mountain, it is now a more popular spot to travel too than before the eruption. There is also an Educational Centre that including topics such as the history of the volcano and pieces about the eruption. This allows people to have a better understanding of the eruption and the impact on the environment and people’s lives. By leaving the environment to respond naturally to the eruption, Scientists can monitor the volcano for earthquakes and further eruptions and understand how plants and animals adapt to the changes of their…show more content…
According to the World Economic Forum, it was the second most expensive volcanic eruption in the world costing approximately $860 million US dollars (Figure 4). Repairs include the removal of 900 thousand tons of ash, rebuilding homes and businesses, repairing damaged bridges roads and railways (Mount St. Helens: Effects on people and economy).
Another negative impact was that most of the trees were destroyed, blown to the ground or covered in mud from the landslide during the eruption loosing lots of valuable timber (Figure 5), this meant that people working in the lumber industry around the area of the volcano lost their jobs and had to move (United States Trade Commission report to Congress 1980). In areas with thick fall of ash, farming lands were covered, destroying crops such as wheat, apples, potatoes and alfalfa (United States Geological Survey,

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