Is It Safe to Live Near a Volcano?
ES0907  Eruption!

On May 18, 1980, the volcano erupted. The eruption was so powerful that people over 150 kilometers away in Seattle heard the explosion. A lateral blast—one from the side of the peak—formed a huge crater near the top of the mountain. The intense heat melted snow, and torrents of rock and ash moved down existing stream channels as mudflows. The volcano produced a 20 kilometer-high eruption plume that spread ash over several states.

  !   Click either image to start the animation. Use the movie controls to examine different frames of the sequence. At any point in the animation, move your cursor over the images to highlight different features of the eruption blast.

Photographs: Gary Rosenquist; Diagrams: Jennifer Loomis, TERC

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