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St. Helens

This photo, one of a series of dramatic photos taken from Bear Meadow NE of Mount St. Helens, shows the initial seconds of the May 18, 1980 eruption. A vertical eruption plume rises from the summit crater, while immediately below it the onset of the lateral blast can be seen. Both explosions were triggered by collapse of the north flank in a giant landslide, whose crest appears at the lower right as a gigantic wave mantled by fragments of white glacial ice.

Type/Process: Volcanic Landslide
Volcanic Status: Historical
Image Number: 028-063
Photographer: Gary Rosenquist, 1980.
Summit Elevation: 2549 meters
Latitude/Longitude: 46.20 N / 122.18 W
Timeframe: Last known eruption 1964 or later
Region: Canada and Western USA

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits