Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens (known as Lawetlat'la to the Indigenous Cowlitz people, and Loowit or Louwala-Clough to the Klickitat) is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It lies 52 miles (83 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon and 98 miles (158 km) south of Seattle. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who surveyed the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
|Mount St. Helens|
|Elevation||8,363 ft (2,549 m)|
|Prominence||4,605 ft (1,404 m)|
|Etymology||Lord St Helens|
|Parent range||Cascade Range|
|Topo map||USGS Mount St. Helens|
|Age of rock||< 40,000 yrs|
|Mountain type||Active stratovolcano (Subduction zone)|
|Volcanic arc||Cascade Volcanic Arc|
|First ascent||1853 by Thomas J. Dryer|
|Easiest route||Hike via south slope of volcano (closest area near eruption site)|
Mount St. Helens major eruption on May 18, 1980 remains the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history. Fifty-seven people were killed; 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche, triggered by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, caused a lateral eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), leaving a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was 0.6 cubic miles (2.5 km3) in volume. The 1980 eruption disrupted terrestrial ecosystems near the volcano. By contrast, aquatic ecosystems in the area greatly benefited from the amounts of ash, allowing life to multiply rapidly. Six years after the eruption, most lakes in the area had returned to their normal state.
After its 1980 eruption, the volcano had continuous volcanic activity until 2008. Geologists predict that future eruptions will be more destructive, since the configuration of the lava domes there require more pressure to erupt. Despite this, Mount St Helens is a popular hiking spot, and it is climbed year-round. In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was established by U.S President Ronald Reagan and the U.S Congress.