Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Volcano of the Week # 22 - Mount St. Helens

This weeks volcano of the week is mainland's USA most famous volcano, Mount St. Helens, its best known eruption in 1980. It's in Washington (near Vancouver, not to be confused with the Canadian Vancouver) and part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc which starts in Alaska and through Canada and back down into the USA. I do find it annoying how it's American then not and then is again (incidentally America and Not America is how many Americans think the world is divided). It's a pretty volcano and known as the Mount Fuji of America due to dominance over the landscape, however after the 1980 eruption much of the volcano was destroyed and it has become less pretty and Fuji-like. Compared to other cascade volcanoes it is very active and young so the Justin Bieber of volcanoes if you will (is it worrying that he was the first young person I could think of?) As the 1980 eruption is the most famous and probably the most culturally important I will mainly write about that, I will however run through the other eruptive stages as some of them have great names. First we have Ape Canyon (40,000-35,000 years ago); then Cougar (20,000-18,000 years ago); followed by Swift Creek (13,000- 8,000 years ago). The period after those is Spirit Lake which is further divided into Smith Creek, Pine Creek, Castle Creek and Sugar Bowl, then 700 years dormancy was broken by the Kalama period in 1480, the Goat Rocks period lasted from 1800-1857.

 Pre eruption
During eruption

On 18th May 1980, Mount St Helens erupted with a VEI of 5, it was mainland USA largest eruption for 100 years. Prior to this climatic eruption there had been smaller less violent eruptions and earthquakes for a couple of months and there had been a zone of exclusion around the volcano. Due to the forewarning of the eruption it is one of the best photographed eruptions in history, this also helped to limit the fatalities however there were 57 in total. Among these was Harry Randall Truman, as well as the president he also shares a name with the fantastic character from Twin Peaks, who refused to leave Mount St. Helens lodge where he was a caretaker despite the numerous warnings. He became a minor celebrity, gave interviews and received fan letters throughout this time and is thought to have died with his 16 cats but friends and family said he would have wanted to die with the lake and mountain and couldn't have lived without them as he knew them. The eruption caused the north face of the volcano was destroyed which changed its shape dramatically, Spirit Lake which lies next to the volcano is significantly smaller and shallower after the eruption. After the eruption the area was preserved as a National Monument by Ronald Reagan, Mount St Helens last erupted in 2008.

From Portland


  1. that's a pretty pic

    1. i know right i luv the mt st hellens pic most of all(the 1 that was b4 the eruption)

  2. that's a pretty pic

  3. i can't believe there was an explosion that killed 57 people and 200 miles from that explosion. :)