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Mount St Helen Mount St Helen is a volcano located along the cascade range which is a volcano chain stretching from Northern California to British Columbia Mount St Helen now stands at a height of 8364 feet above sea level Mount St Helen was one the smaller eruptions of five major ones in Washington State Its elevation before the eruption was 9677 feet high On March 29 1980 after a period of one-hundred and twenty-three years of inactivity a earthquake under the volcano quaked As magma pushed up from beneath the earths surface the north side of the mountain developed a bulge Angle and slope-distance measurements indicating that the bulge was growing at a rate of 15 feet per day thompson pg 23 May 17 the volcanos north side had been pushed upward and outward 450 feet thompson pg 24 May 18 at 832 am Pacific daylight time a magnitude 51 out of a possible 10 earthquake shook Mount St Helen The bulge on the north side of the mountain gave way in a gigantic rock slide releasing pressure and triggering a major rock and pumice eruption At thirteen hundred feet the peak collapsed and as a result 24 square miles of the valley was filled with roc and debris From the rock slide 250 square miles of timber recreation and private lands were demolished from the lateral blast For more than 9 hours the volcano spit ashes out to the air Eventually the ashes reached 12-15 miles above sea level The ashes went eastward at about 60 miles per hour By noon the ashes had reached as far as Idaho Ashes reached 11 states The total amount of ash that fell was 26 cubic miles or enough ash
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