Vancouver! This is it!
Those are the last words spoken by David A. Johnston. Johnston was killed as he observed Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. He worked as a volcanologist, taking measurements very close to active volcanoes in order to better predict eruptions.
Amazing But True!
- There were more than 10,000 local earthquakes before the May 18 eruption. However, the earthquakes increased in frequency then reached a plateau. Many people thought the danger of an eruption had passed.
- There was only one seismometer near the volcano so it was unclear where the quakes were coming from.
- Monitoring has improved since 1980 with GPS and satellites, among other tools.
- What was learned at St. Helens is now used to predict eruptions on other volcanoes; e.g. Mount Pinatubo in 1991.
Show What You Know
With the links below, learn more about predicting the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Then answer the following questions.
- David A. Johnston Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_7oegdwStQ
- Livescience, Mount St. Helens Eruption: Facts & Information: http://www.livescience.com/27553-mount-st-helens-eruption.html
- Mt. St. Helens, the Victims of the Eruption: http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/mshvictims.html
- Why was David A. Johnston where he was then Mount St. Helens erupted?
- Why is eruption prediction better now than it was in 1980?
- Will another eruption on the scale of the 1980 eruption occur on St. Helens within the next few decades?
- Why were so many people killed by the 1980 eruption? Why were they in the dangerous region?