Unified Interior Regions

Washington

Washington's Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem directly adjacent to a robust metropolitan area that scientists from the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center study. Recent surveys have looked at juvenile surf smelt, a key link in the food web that are consumed by predators such as salmon, orca, and many marine birds. 

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

Go to Center

Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

Go to Center

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 872
May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens....
May 18, 1980

May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens.

May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens from southwest. Note the pyroclastic density currents spilling over the crater rim.

Plinian eruption column from May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens. Aerial ...
May 18, 1980

Plinian eruption column from May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens

Plinian eruption column from May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens. Aerial view from the Southwest.

video thumbnail: Mount St. Helens 1980 Ash Cloud as Seen From Space
May 17, 1980

Mount St. Helens 1980 Ash Cloud as Seen From Space

Eruptive activity at Mount St. Helens captured the world’s attention on May 18, 1980 when the largest historical landslide on Earth and a powerful explosion reshaped the volcano. A volcanic ash cloud spread across the US in 3 days, and encircled the Earth in 15 days.

This mini-movie compiled from individual satellite images taken in 1980 shows the ash cloud as it

Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, one day before the devastating er...
May 17, 1980

Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, one day before the devastating er...

Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, one day before the devastating eruption. The view is from Johnston's Ridge, six miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the volcano.

Bulge on the north slope of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 198...
May 3, 1980

Bulge on the north slope of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 198...

Bulge on the north slope of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 1980 eruption. Sugar Bowl on left (east) side of bulge and Goat Rocks on right (west) side, viewed from the air.

Bulge on the north side of Mount St. Helens developed as magma push...
April 27, 1980

Bulge on the north side of Mount St. Helens developed as magma push...

A "bulge" developed on the north side of Mount St. Helens as magma pushed up within the peak. Angle and slope-distance measurements to the bulge indicated it was growing at a rate of up to five feet (1.5 meters) per day. By May 17, part of the volcano's north side had been pushed upwards and outwards over 450 feet (135 meters).

Flyover view of Mount St. Helens prior to the catastrophic eruption.
April 10, 1980

Mount St. Helens prior to the catastrophic eruption

Mount St. Helens prior to the catastrophic eruption of May 18, 1980. Streams and lava flows also visible. View is looking southerly from oblique aerial view. Mount Hood in distance.

View from the northeast of a small phreatic eruption on Mount St. H...
April 10, 1980

View from NE of a small phreatic eruption on Mount St. Helens befor...

On March 20, 1980, after a quiet period of 123 years, earthquake activity once again began under Mount St. Helens volcano. Seven days later, on March 27, small phreatic (steam) explosions began.

View looking west of Mount St. Helens' summit after several small e...
March 30, 1980

View looking west of Mount St. Helens' summit after several small e...

View looking west of Mount St. Helens' summit after several small explosive eruptions. The smaller of the two pit craters was formed first on March 27. Subsequent eruptions opened the farther crater.

Ash-covered summit of Mount St. Helens. Aerial view looking north-n...
March 30, 1980

Ash-covered summit of Mount St. Helens. Aerial view looking north-N...

Ash covered snow is a result of wind direction, resulting in left portion of cone free of ash while the right portion is covered. Snowstorms later covered these ash layers, which in turn were covered by new ash. The result was many alternating layers of snow and ash.

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

Go to Center

Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

Go to Center