How high was Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 1980 eruption? How high was it after?

Before May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens' summit altitude of 9,677 feet (2,950 meters) made it only the fifth highest peak in Washington State. It stood out handsomely, however, from surrounding hills because it rose thousands of feet above them and had a perennial cover of ice and snow. The peak rose more than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) above its base, where the lower flanks merge with adjacent ridges.

On May 18, 1980, the volcano lost an estimated 3.4 billion cubic yards (0.63 cubic mile) of its cone (about 1,300 feet or 396 meters in height), leaving behind a horseshoe-shaped crater (open to the north), with the highest part of the crater rim on the southwestern side being at 8,365 feet (2,550 meters) elevation. 

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Volcano erupting and spewing a huge cloud of rock and ash into the sky.
May 18, 1980

Mount Saint Helens eruption

On Sunday, May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m., the bulging north flank of Mount St. Helens slid away in a massive landslide -- the largest in recorded history. Seconds later, the uncorked volcano exploded and blasted rocks northward across forest ridges and valleys, destroying everything in its path within minutes.

Aerial photo of Mount St. Helens volcano, pre-1980 eruption
September 28, 1979

Aerial photo of Mount St. Helens volcano, pre-1980 eruption

Before the eruption of May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens' elevation was 2,950 m (9,677 ft). View from the west, Mount Adams in distance. S. Fork Toutle River is valley in center of photo.

Mount Adams elevation is 3,745 m (12, 286 ft). Mount St. Helens was the smallest of five major volcanic peaks in Washington State.

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Prior to 1980, Mount St. Helens had the shape of a conical, youthful volcano sometimes referred to as the Mount Fuji of America. During the 1980 eruption the upper 400 m (1,300 ft) of the summit was removed by a huge 

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