Catastrophic Eruption in Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash Essays

Catastrophic Eruption in Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash Essays

Length: 680 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Article Summary of Mount St. Helens
In the article Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash, the author discusses the huge, catastrophic eruption in 1980, the environmental impact of the eruption, biological legacies, how the eruption helps better understand the process of succession, and the resurgence of scientific research at Mount St. Helens. Nash talks about the restrained locution of ecology, and what occurred in 1980 was not just a "disturbance." It instantly altered the still Fuji-form symmetry volcanic look, with lush forests, meadows, and clear, snow-fed lakes extending north around a huge, deep side-blown crater (Nash, 2010). The eruption's first phase was the largest avalanche in recorded history, with speeds up to 70 meters per second. This was followed within seconds by a blast that elevated matter up into the sky that rained ash over 11 states. Mudflows began almost immediately, hurling liquefied sand, gravel, rock, earth, and other debris down the North Fork Toutle River Valley, some of it eventually reached the Columbia River. The May 18, 1980 eruption was the most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history, 57 people were killed.
Despite the enormous destruction and loss created by this eruption, it also set forth an equal potential for creation. The eruption created an opportunity for scientists and researchers to study the changes the natural destruction formed on the landscape. Following the eruption, Nash talked about a scientist, Virginia Dale, who made a research proposal a few days after the eruption. "There was a lot of interest in how life was going to return to the area" she says now. "A general sense was that life had been wiped out in the blast zone, so a big question was what's goi...


... middle of paper ...


...are, especially where we know what's happened for 30 years” (Nash, 2010).
Mount St. Helens has helped revise one of ecology's oldest preoccupations: trying to recapitulate the story of how communities of plants and animals assemble themselves over time--how one suite of species succeeds another (Nash, 2010). The author explains that there is far more biological diversity at Mount St. Helens today than before the eruption. That after 30 years, Mount St. Helens had a boisterous return of thousands of species. But, the reassembly of the former evergreen forest could take hundreds of years, or it may not return at all. More eruptions may generate a different outcome, or Global warming might just bring a more open, pine-dominated forest instead. Mount St. Helens has become a biological hot spot for the whole Cascade Range, from California to British Columbia (Nash, 2010).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Eruption Of Mount Saint Helens Essay

- Boom. A once ice-capped mountain peak explodes as ash fills the air. “‘Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!’”Those were the last words of expert geologist David Johnston (Gunn 561). In 1980, Mount Saint Helens of the state of Washington erupted, filling the air with ash and causing mudflows powerful enough to lift tons. It decimated everything in its path. The eruptions, mudflows, and ash caused great damage on the landscape, yet it gave us information on how catastrophes happen and how they affect society and the surrounding landscape....   [tags: Mount St. Helens, Volcano, Earthquake]

Better Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Essay about The 1980 Eruption of Mount Saint Helens and Its Impact

- Mount Saint Helens, located in the Pacific Northwest in southwestern Washington, stood approximately 9,500 feet above sea level prior to its eruption in 1980 (Tarbuck, 2012). Part of the Cascade Mountain Range, it is a composite volcano constructed of alternating layers of lava flows, ash, and other volcanic debris with steep, symmetrical sides . It also belongs to the North American segment of the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” This is where the tectonic plate from the Pacific is forced under the North America plate....   [tags: natural disasters, US volvanoes]

Better Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

The Volcanic Eruption of Mount Saint Helens Essay

- The Volcanic Eruption of Mount Saint Helens On the 18th of May 1980 mount saint. Helens Erupted all thought Mount Saint Helens is a volcano the eruption in 1980 was actually caused by an earthquake the earthquake was 5.0 on the Richter scale. The tremor trigged the biggest landslide ever recorded this was due to molten rock movement. Mount Saint Helens is part of the Cascade Range which has numerous volcanoes thought Mount Saint Helens is the most active. Text Box: Fig 1[IMAGE]There are many causes of the Mount Saint Helens eruptions....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
511 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Mount St. Helens

- Mount St. Helens Mount St. Helens is an active stratovalcano in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located 96 miles south of Seattle and 53 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. The mountain is part of the Cascade Range. It is most famous for a catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980. That eruption was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States. 57 people were killed, and 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways and 185 miles (300 km) of highway were destroyed....   [tags: Nature Volcanoes Eruptions Essays]

Free Essays
689 words (2 pages)

Essay about Mount Saint Helens

- The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas that you will find in the United States. It is filled with some of the most breathtaking mountains that one could only imagine. We may look at them and think that they are just mountains that have grown over geological time, but they are more than that. In reality, a lot of them are volcanoes. The most popular one is Mount St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens is located in southwest Washington, just 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. It is one of the peaks of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest....   [tags: Pacific Northwest, United States, Mountain]

Better Essays
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Yellowstone National Park and the Comming Super Eruption Essay

- Earth has physically changed millions of times due to moving tectonic plates which has formed our planets mountains; altering the way our environment looks. Volcanoes, (formed when magma from the upper mantle heads to the surface, causing the land to rise) are one of nature’s finest spectacles. These geographical forces have erupted many times; from small-scale eruptions to cataclysmic ones; making them a force to consider about. Therefore the past is useful in predicting possible future eruptions as in terms of the effects they can have on civilisation, they are unpredictable in what they can produce....   [tags: super volcano]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

China's Catastrophic Cultural Revolution Essay

- Impeccably true to its definition, the Chinese characters for “revolution” literally mean “elimination of life”, proved by China’s catastrophic cultural revolution. Communist leader Mao Zedong sought to eliminate the past and push for a resurrection only to land China miserably behind. By wiping away years of scientific and literary advancements, China renounced its grandiose history and way of life. In 1966, Communist leader Mao Zedong initiated the Cultural Revolution in China intended to reaffirm his domination over the Chinese government, drastically affecting the lives of nearly everyone in China....   [tags: Chinese Revolution, Chinese History, Mao Zedong]

Better Essays
888 words (2.5 pages)

The Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius Essay

- Introduction Mount Vesuvius if a well-known volcano located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. It has an infamous history of being very destructive to nearby civilizations, and erupting almost every century. The most famous eruption occurred in 79 AD, where the volcano eruption completely covered the nearby cities and killed many people. Today, the area around surrounding the volcano is well populated; however there are precautions put in place in order to avoid a loss as large as the one in 79 AD. Geologic Process Mount Vesuvius is classified as a stratovolcano because its eruptions are very explosive and involve pyroclastic flows (Bagley)....   [tags: Mount Vesuvius, Volcano, Herculaneum]

Better Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

The 1886 Mount Tarawera Eruption Essay

- In this essay I will tell you about the 1886 Tarawera Eruption. More specifically I will tell you about the effects the 1886 eruption had on the natural environment and ton the local communities of the region. 10th of June 1886, soon after midnight. Mt Tarawera light up like fireworks. BOOM. Molten rock came flying out of the crater, with a cloud of ash rising 9.5km into the sky. People as far as Blenheim could hear the thunder like noises but had no idea what it could be. Although the people of Rotorua knew exactly what was happening Mount Tarawera was erupting....   [tags: volcano, Mount Tarawera]

Free Essays
668 words (1.9 pages)

Volcanic Eruption Of The Southern Alaskan Peninsula Essay

- On the morning of June 6th, 1912, the ground of the southern Alaskan peninsula began to shake with extreme force. This force, when later analyzed turned out to be the most powerful volcanic eruption of the 20th century. This newly formed caldera volcano later known, as Novarupta, literally translated as “new eruption”, is located in Katmai National Park and Reserve on the Alaskan Aleutian Range (Pidwirny and Jones 2009). Novarupta’s eruption caused immediate impacts to the native Alaskan climate as well as impacts to earth’s global climate overall....   [tags: Volcano, Earth, Novarupta, Carbon dioxide]

Better Essays
972 words (2.8 pages)