Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount Saint Helens by Patricia LauberMay 18, 1980, 8:32 A.M.: An earthquake suddenly triggered an avalanche on Mount St. Helens, a volcano in southern Washington State. Minutes later, Mount St. Helens blew the top off its peak and exploded into the most devastating volcanic eruption in U.S. history.
What caused the eruption? What was left when it ended? What did scientists learn in its aftermath?
In this extraordinary photographic essay, Patricia Lauber details the Mount St. Helens eruption and the years following. Through this clear accurate account, readers of all ages will share the awe of the scientists who witnessed both the power of the volcano and the resiliency of life.
Mount St. Helens
On May 18, , a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens , a volcano located in Skamania County , in the U. The eruption a VEI 5 event was the most significant volcanic eruption to occur in the contiguous 48 U. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam -venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a large bulge and a fracture system on the mountain's north slope. This allowed the partly molten, high-pressure gas- and steam -rich rock in the volcano to suddenly explode northwards toward Spirit Lake in a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock, overtaking the avalanching face. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day, only to be followed by other large, but not as destructive, eruptions later that year.
On May 18, , an earthquake struck below the north face of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, triggering the largest landslide in recorded history and a major volcanic eruption that scattered ash across a dozen states.
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When volcanic Mount St. Helens began to show signs of erupting in March of , photographer Robert Landsburg wanted to capture every image he could of the Earth exerting its power. He had grown up in Seattle, Washington, and the mountain was part of his internal landscape. For two months, while earthquakes sent shudders through the area, Landsburg picked his way around the Washington State high country to document what was happening. Meanwhile, as if announcing its ill-tempered intentions, the mountain vented steam. Mount St.