St Helens Research Paper

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2004-2008 St Helens Eruptions
Ananth Kumaralingam
Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano found in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is 154km south of Seattle, Washington and 80km northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St Helens is named after the British Diplomat and acquaintance of George Vancouver, Lord St Helens. Vancouver named the Area after his acquaintance after surveying the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is found in the Cascade Range and is part of the cascade volcanic arc, the particular region of volcanoes is known for its extravagant ash explosions and pyroclastic flows. The 2004-2008 eruptions of St Helens, Washington, Unites states has been recorded …show more content…

Activity of the Cascadia Fault is what had triggered the activity of St Helens in 1980 and in 2004. The Cascadia fault is a convergent plate boundary. The fault is a described as long and slopping, it starts in Northern Vancouver Island and expands down to Northern California. The Cascadia fault line separates the Juan de Fuca plate and the North American plate. Tectonic processes active in the Cascadia subduction zone region include accretion, subduction, deep earthquakes, and active volcanism of the Cascades. This volcanism has included such notable eruptions as Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) about 7,500 years ago, Mount Meager about 2,350 years ago, and Mount St. Helens in 1980. Major cities affected by a disturbance in this subduction zone would include Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. The two tectonic plates involved in the subduction process at the convergent fault line are the Juan de Fuca plate and the North American plate. The Juan De Fuca plate being the denser oceanic plate is being subducted under the continental North American plate. Although the fault line is on the coast of the Northern American plate tectonic activity is also heavily present inland, evidence of this is the cascade volcanic arc formed by the tectonic movements at the fault …show more content…

One of the issues with geological features such as volcanoes is that it is impossible to know when it will become active again, we are only able to predict using the various technologies used to measure the different features of the volcano. The only thing communities can do is to be prepared for such an event. Things such as training the emergency rescue services in the area to be able to respond to an eruption or identifying the areas that are at high risk are things that can be done by the local community. The state government will have to be involved to make sure that the citizens are evacuated into a safe region and that there will be a steady food and water supply for them. The state/Federal government may also enlist the services of special emergency response teams specifically designed to deal with environmental disasters, these response teams may look to deal with the lava directly and divert away from the populated areas by spraying them with water or bombing them.
Mount St Helens is a mountain that must be kept under constant surveillance as it is located close to large towns, the Volcano has the potential to wipe out a lot of wild life and urbanized area, and therefore it is crucial that we use all instruments available to measure any changes that may indicate volcanic activity.

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