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Introduction The Pacific Northwest is rich in volcanoes They vary in size shape and range from small volcanic cinders to majestic ice-covered mountains The Cascade Range runs from Northern California to Northern Washington and contains many well known peaks such as Mount Ranier located in Washington and Mount Shasta located in California Harris 1988 People are continually taking these magnificent landforms for granted We go skiing and hiking and do many other recreational sports a top these so called sleeping mountains On May 18 1980 at 832am one of the mountains in the Cascade Range exploded such fury that those who were to witness and survive it will never forget On that fateful day in May 1980 Mount Saint Helens erupted and affected the lives of thousands of people living in Washington State USA Before the eruption Mount Saint Helens was a vibrant thriving mountain ecosystem Home to a diverse range of wildlife and plants such as the black bear mountain lion mountain goat forest sage and grouse pheasant beaver and many others Aylesworth and Aylesworth 1983 In addition many recreational seekers for skiing hiking rock-climbing and camping enjoyed the rugged yet beautiful area of Mount Saint Helens Just seconds after Mount Saint Helens erupted the once famous landscape and views were abolished Following the eruption it was a desolate barren and empty landscape The toll that Mount Saint Helens took on the wildlife vegetation and humans was devastating After viewing the aftermath of the explosion President Jimmy Carter said the moon looks like a golf course compared to whats up thereThe Columbian Inc p59 1980 Geologic History Mount Saint Helens is composite or stratovolcano The United States Geological Society website defines a stratovolcano or composite volcano as a steep conical volcano built by the eruption of viscous lava flows tephra and pyroclastic flows Usually constructed over a period of tens to hundreds of thousands of years stratovolcanoes may erupt a variety of
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