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. 

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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.

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States L2 Landing Page Tabs

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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.

View from the northwest of a phreatic eruption on Mount St. Helens ...
March 30, 1980

Phreatic eruption on Mount St. Helens pre-May 18, 1981

View from the northwest of a phreatic eruption on Mount St. Helens pre- May 18, 1980 eruption.

Crater in Mount St. Helens summit, aerial view looking east....
March 27, 1980

Crater in Mount St. Helens summit and ash (swath of dark) distribut...

An east-west fault across middle of summit area and an uplift or bulge on upper north flank of the volcano are also visible in this photo.

Upper cone of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 1980 eruption; no...
March 24, 1980

Upper cone of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 1980 eruption; no...

Although seismic activity began under Mount St. Helens on March 20, this overflight showed no unusual features except numerous tracks of earthquake-triggered snow avalanches. No evidence of fracturing of summit area was detected during careful visual observations on the afternoon of March 24, 1980. On March 25, the first cracks were noted by Bud Kimball, Tacoma, Washington

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Summit region (Kalama age–1479 to 1720 C.E.) of Mount St. Helens lo...
September 28, 1979

Summit region (Kalama age–1479 to 1720 C.E.) of Mount St. Helens lo...

Summit region (Kalama age–1479 to 1720 C.E.) of Mount St. Helens looking northeast. Spirit Lake and Mount Adams in background. September 28, 1979.

Worm Complex on the southeast flank of Mount St. Helens—Middle Kala...
September 28, 1979

Worm Complex on the SE flank of Mount St. Helens—Middle Kalama lava...

Worm Complex on the southeast flank of Mount St. Helens—Middle Kalama lava flows in center of image. Photo from September 28, 1979. Click to view larger image.

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.

Goat Rocks age eruptive deposits (Mount St. Helens), Floating Islan...
September 28, 1979

Goat Rocks age eruptive deposits (Mount St. Helens), Floating Islan...

Studebaker Ridge formed during the Tertiary geologic time period (65 million to 2.6 million years ago). The pyroclastic surge from the May 18, 1980 eruption destroyed the trees on the ridge.

Measuring sturgeon length
January 1, 0000

Researcher measuring sturgeon length

Researcher measuring sturgeon length. Bottom trawl for young-of-year (YOY) indexing. Columbia River.

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