IntroDuring the past 4000 years Mt St Helens has erupted more than any other volcano in the Cascade mountain range. The ash from Mt St Helens drifted across the United states and around the earth in only 15 days. The eruption created a massive landslide that reduced the summit by 1300 feet. Mt St Helens is one of the most destructive volcanoes that has erupted because the caldera ,size ,and blast. Geological featuresVolcanism is a phenomenon that occurs at Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes in the Cascades arc due to subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate near the west coast of North America. As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. Over its rich and complex 275,000-year history, Mount St. Helens has produced both violent explosive eruption of volcanic tephra and relatively quiet outpourings of lava. The relation of eruptive intensity with magma composition and viscosity has been investigated for Mount St. Helens, where eruptive activity has ranged from basaltic lava flows to dacitic Plinian eruptions. Lava tubes are a type of lava cave formed when a low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. Tubes form one of two ways: one by the melting tunnels and crusting over or from p?hoehoe flows where the lava is moving under the surface.Compared to other volcanoes in the Cascades mountain range, Mount St. Helens is fairly young compared geologically, because it only formed around 40,000 years ago. Its top cone that was destroyed in the 1980 eruption began forming only 2,200 years ago. Because of its quick growth, many scientists consider Mount St. Helens the most active volcano in the Cascades within the last 10,000 years.There are also three main river systems in the vicinity of Mount St.Helens. These rivers include the Toutle, Kalama and Lewis Rivers. This is significant because the rivers were impacted in its eruption.The nearest town to Mount St. Helens is Cougar, Washington, which is around 11 miles from the mountain. Castle Rock, Longview, and Kelso, Washington were also affected by the 1980 eruption however because they are low-lying and near the region’s rivers. The nearest main highway in and out of the area is State Route 504 which connects with Interstate 5. Mount St. Helens, located in Washington State, is the most active volcano in the Cascade Range, and it is one of the estimated volcano to erupt in the future. The volcano is almost 33 mi due west of Mount Adams and approximately 50 mi northeast of the Vancouver, Washington—Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. In the beginning stages of eruptive activity, the volcano mostly consisted of a cluster of domes that was surrounded by an apron of tephra and debris fans of fragmented volcanic rocks.It was only during the past few thousand years that the volcano grew to its pre-1980 elevation of 9,677 ft, making it the, then, fifth highest peak in Washington. Starting about 3,000 years ago, substantial amounts of basalt and andesite began to erupt as lava flows between phases of dacite eruptive activity. These lava flows buried large parts of a central cluster of dacite domes and flanking fans, which started the cone building in earnest.Based upon detailed chemical analysis of the eruptive products from each stage of Mount St. Helens volcanism, scientists deduce that the volcano’s magmatic system has evolved from relatively simple to more complex as the volcano matured. The evidence indicates that interaction between more silicic magma batches with more mafic magma increased from the earliest to most recent stages of Mount St. Helens volcanism. Geologic historyThe most recent large eruption of Mount St. Helens took place in May of 1980. Activity on the mountain began on March 20, 1980, when a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck. Shortly there after, steam began to vent from the mountain and by April, the north side of Mount St. Helens began to grow a bulge. Another earthquake struck on May 18 which caused a massive debris avalanche that wiped out the entire north face of the mountain. It is believed that this was the largest debris avalanche in history. Following the avalanche , Mount St. Helens eventually erupted and its pyroclastic flow leveled the surrounding forest and any buildings in the area. Anything within a 230 square miles radius was within the “blast zone” and was affected by the eruption.The heat from Mount St. Helens’ eruption and the force of its debris avalanche on its northern side caused the ice and snow on the mountain to melt which formed volcanic mudflows called lahars.These lahars then poured into the surrounding rivers and led to the flooding of many different areas. Material from Mount St. Helens was also found 17 miles south, in the Columbia River along the Oregon-Washington border.Another problem associated with Mount St. Helens’ 1980 eruption was the ash it generated. During its eruption, the plume of ash rose as high as 16 miles and quickly moved east to eventually spread around the world. Over the course of the day, prevailing winds blew 520 million tons of ash eastward across the United States and caused complete darkness in Spokane, Washington, 250 mi from the volcano. Major ash falls occurred as far away as central Montana, and ash fell visibly as far eastward as the Great Plains of the Central United States, more than 930 mi away. The ash cloud spread across the U.S. in three days and circled the Earth in 15 days. The eruption of Mount St. Helens killed 57 people, damaged and destroyed 200 homes, wiped out the forest and popular Spirit Lake and killed around 7,000 animals. It also damaged highways and railroads.Although the most significant eruption of Mount St. Helens occurred in May of 1980, activity on the mountain continued until 1986 as a lava dome began forming in the newly formed crater at its summit.During this time, many small eruptions occurred. Following those events from 1989 to 1991, Mount St. Helens continued erupting ash. Despite these rebounds, Mount St. Helens continues to make its presence known in the region. From 2004 to 2008, the mountain was again very active and several eruptions occurred, although none were particularly severe. Most of these eruptions resulted in the building up of the lava dome on Mount St. Helens’ summit crater.In 2005, however, Mount St. Helens erupted a 36,000 foot plume of ash and steam. A minor earthquake accompanied this event. Since these events, ash and steam have been visible on the mountain several times in recent years.What was once an area that was completely scorched and knocked down by the eruption is today a thriving forest. Just five years after the eruption, surviving plants were able to sprout through the build-up of ash and debris. Since 1995, there has been a growth in the variety of plates within the disturbed area and today, there are many trees and shrubs growing successfully. Animals have also returned to the region and it is again growing to be a diverse natural environment.Human Interactions There were two names the Native Americans called Mt St Helens”Loowit” or “Louwala-Clough”, which meant “smoking mountain”. Native Americans would tell the early explorers stories about the fiery and wrath of Mt St Helens. According to one legend, the mountain was once a beautiful maiden, “Loowit”. When two sons of the Great Spirit “Sahale” fell in love with her, she could not choose between them. The two braves, Wyeast and Klickitat fought over her, burying villages and forests in the process. Sahale was furious. He smote the three lovers and erected a mighty mountain peak where each fell. Because Loowit was beautiful, her mountain (Mount St. Helens) was a beautiful, symmetrical cone of dazzling white. Wyeast (Mount Hood) lifts his head in pride, but Klickitat (Mount Adams) wept to see the beautiful maiden wrapped in snow, so he bends his head as he gazes on St. Helens. The eruption killed 57 people and injured more, in the lateral blast, ashfall, and lahars. The causes to death included, thermal injuries, asphyxiation and trauma. Four indirect death were caused by a crop duster hitting power lines during the ashfall, a traffic accident during poor visibility, and two heart attacks from shoveling ash. Mount St. Helens was named by Commander George Vancouver for British diplomat Alleyne Fitzherbert, whose title was Baron St. Helens. Tourism Mt St Helens has a visitor center on the north side of the volcano. If you go on the deck you can see the massive crater from the landslide that occured after the eruption. Mt St Helens still draws people from around the world to visit the 110,000-acre national volcanic monument. EcologyThe biome of the mt st helens volcano is a alpine forest. Alpine biomes by their nature do not fit into a simple climatic scheme. The Alpine biome is one of the coldest biomes on earth. It is cold, snowy, and windy. It is usually below freezing at night. Alpine biomes are located on mountains. They are below the snow line. The altitude is usually very high. In general, as one ascends a mountain, temperature drops by about 50 F for every 1000 yards in altitude gained. This means that if you start at sea level at 86 F and go up 1000 yards the temperature will be 68 F; at the top of a 3,000 Yards mountain the temperature will be 32 F. This the only thing you can say about the climate in alpine regions is that it is colder than one would expect at sea level at the same latitude. Rainfall also varies considerably; as the rising air cools it loses the ability to retain moisture and clouds form, with the result of increasing precipitation on the side of a mountain exposed to winds. On the other side, the descending air (already dried by its trip over the mountains) warms and removes moisture from the ground – this is one of the driving forces behind the deserts in the American Southwest. It is very difficult for plants to grow in alpine biomes because of the intense weather. The ones that survive have been adapted to the weather. Pollution After the eruption the co2 levels skyrocketed. Mt St Helens had nearly 10 million tons of co2 distributed in the atmosphere, But Mt St Helens doesn’t even come close to the yearly co2 emissions from US Transportations. The U.S distributes estimated 1.2 billion tons of co2 a year. Imagine a football field, and a round balloon with one end on the 1 yard line and the other on the 10. If you filled that balloon with co2 then that balloon would weigh 1 ton. Now imagine 1.2 billion balloons filled with co2. That would fill 120 million football fields. The total weight of all manhattan buildings are 118,159,600 tons. That is still 1.1 billion less. Biological responseThe biological reaction to the spectacular 1980 eruption was rapid, with the most important factors being the biological legacies , the diverse populations surrounding the blast area, helped some animals to burrow down a unconsolidated volcanic deposits, and a moist climate would aid and encourage the plants to grow back. Lakes, streams, and forests all responded at different rates after the eruption. A key factor for the response rate was the extent to which ecosystems became nutrient-enriched or impoverished. WildlifeThe most conspicuous wildlife species to return to the blast zone have been Roosevelt elk and Columbia black-tailed deer. Large mammals did not survive the blast but animals from adjacent, less-disturbed areas were able to move into the blast zone soon after the eruption. The animals found prime habitat due to the availability of high quality summer forage from surviving plants and winter forage from grass and clover planted to for erosion control. The availability of winter forage contributed greatly to elk recovery in the blast zone. It is not unusual to see large herds of bull elk running together on the debris avalanche or in the blast zone north of the volcano. Elk viewing is a very popular activity among Monument visitors.Lakes were greatly enriched with nutrients, and the life in the lakes skyrocketed. Within 6 years after the 1980 eruption most lakes had returned to conditions typical of undisturbed lakes. While the forests were still far from fully mature forest. HabitatsDisturbance eliminates or reduces the amount of habitats, but can also create new ones. The eruption destroyed around 90 square miles of forest habitats, but the lake and pond population and habitats increased astronomically by 5 times the original amount. These were quickly filled with aquatic life.Weather Average precipitation goes from 7.19 in January down to 0.87 in July and backup 8.14 in November. The temperature varies from -11 to a staggering 107 fahrenheit but the average The eruption produced a huge volcanic dust cloud that was mainly blown downwind (towards eastern Washington) by the prevailing winds. The surface temperature effects of the May 18 1980 eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano were examined for the two days immediately following the eruption. The volcanic signal was investigated by examining regional maps of surface temperature, 24 h surface temperature differences and Model Output Statistics (MOS) errors, as well as the detailed temporal evolution of surface temperature and MOS errors at selected stations. The analysis was simplified by the presence of a large anticyclone which dominated the synoptic situation both before and after the eruption. During the daytime hours immediately after the eruption; temperatures in eastern Washington State were up to 46°F colder because of the volcanic plume. That night, because of low-level volcanic dust, temperatures were up to 50°F warmer in Idaho and Montana. These effects, caused by large aerosols in the troposphere, quickly diminished the following day as the volcanic dust cloud dissipated and moved toward the east.