Mount St. Helens was in the news again on May 1, 2014 with a new build-up of magma. The USGS says it is an impending “long-term uplift” coinciding with some increased seismic activity. Despite recently making the news, this is just what the volcano routinely does.
May 1 2014 Magma build-up article http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6346/20140501/mount-st-helens-builds-up-magma-no-imminent-eruption-usgs.htm
This is the anniversary of the devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980, the deadliest volcanic event in the history of the United States.
Mt. St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Cascade Range Volcanic Arc which is a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is a stratovolcano (also known as a composite volcano with steep-sided mostly symmetrical cones.
Fifty-seven people died and the animal loss was estimated at 7000 big game animals, 12 million salmon in hatcheries and more small animals than could be estimated.
The eruption column reached 80,000 feet in less than 15 minutes, spread across the US in 3 days and it circled the globe within 15 days.
The blast itself released 24 mega tons of thermal energy. The temperature of the lateral blast was at least 660 degrees and traveling at 300 miles per hour.
The Mountain’s elevation before the blast was 9,677 feet. It is now at 8,363 feet.
CNN Mt. St. Helens Facts http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/26/us/mount-st-helens-fast-facts/index.html
The Klickitat have one of the most famous of the Native American legends of the mountain. In this story, often called the “Bridge of the Gods” the chief of all gods had two sons named Pahto who became Mt. Adams and Wy-east who became Mt. Hood. They fought over the beautiful maiden (once an old crone) named Loowit, Mt. St. Helens.
This story in all its beautiful detail with the various endings of the different tribes is told masterfully at http://oaltomlinson.blogspot.com/2008/05/klickitat-legend.html
On May 18, 1980, what was once a tranquil recreational mountain teeming with wildlife and graced by the beautiful Spirit Lake exploded into the volcano that is known today. Thick ash clouds, mudslides miles long and nine hours of “vigorous” ash emission ended a 123 year slumber. The area is still recovering.
Mt. St. Helens Science and Learning Center http://www.mshslc.org/
USGS 30 Cool Facts about Mount St. Helens http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/103/
Extensive History of Mt. St. Helens and surrounding area attractions http://www.mt-st-helens.com/history.html