2. What we learned from Mount Saint Helens: Surprises and New Science from the Eruption (Brochure)
Welcome to Mt. Saint Helens Park Visitor Center!
To better understand Mt. Saint Helens we must first go back to 1980. Although some of you might not have been born yet it was in that year that the US experienced its most destructive volcanic eruption in its history. Most of you might have already guessed it but it happened right here in Mount Saint Helens!
The 1980 volcanic eruption of Mt. Saint Helens created a before and after in the way scientists study volcanoes. Through this brochure, you will be able to learn the difference this event made in the way we approach volcanic …show more content…
New Lesson 3
What is volcanic ash?
Before the 1980's eruption, scientists didn't have a great understanding of the composition of volcanic ash, what it could do and the repercussions it left. Since scientists didn't know the components of volcanic ash there was anxiety on what the effects might be on the population health that had been hit by it. Other questions that the ash brought were if the land covered by it would be usable afterward as a lot of crops were lost.
"Volcanic ash consists of very fine rock and mineral particles less than 2 mm in diameter that is ejected from a volcanic vent".
After the 1980 eruption scientists realized that volcanic ash won't really cause any serious health issues, the effects might be eye irritation or harder time breathing. The most serious damage can be if the volcanic ash causes structures to collapse, which can end with deaths.
New Lesson …show more content…
Measuring different gas emissions through spectrometers can give you clues on what is happening inside the volcano which can mean a volcanic eruption might be imminent or not. Studying the deformation of the volcano can also show you if the shape of the volcano is changing which would indicate volcano activity.
Picture by: tes teach
Problems with Evacuation
- Another key point that Mount Saint Helens taught us is how to make better safety procedures when volcano eruptions are imminent.
- 57 people died from the volcanic eruption and we want to keep that number as close to zero.
- Scientists miscalculated how large the blast from the eruption was going to be.
- Scientists couldn't determine what the mountain was going to do due to lack of technology.
- The danger zone drawn in the mountain was too small causing people that thoughts were safe to die from the lateral blast.
After 1980's eruption, safety and response protocols were issued to ensure that human lives are not lost in such natural disasters. Here in Mt. Saint Helens we have flyers on what our evacuation protocol is if anything happens, as we can never truly predict nature.
The last words of U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist David Johnston who was monitoring the volcano was "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" (National