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Selected Viewings and Readings

Selected Viewings

The best way to see the effects and products of the volcano's activity is to visit the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The next best thing is to view movies, videos, or slides about the volcano, some of which are listed here. Some school and public libraries might have them in their collections.


Mount St. Helens, A General Slide Set, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey; inquiries about availability should be addressed to the Cascades Volcano Observatory, 5400 MacArthur Boulevard, Vancouver, Washington 98661. (A set of 50 slides with descriptive text, covering the eruption on May 18, 1980, and its aftermath, "before" and "after" comparisons, the growth of the lava dome, and the geologic and hydrologic studies by USGS scientists.)

Mount St. Helens, Past and Present, Beechwood Films, P.O. Box 16384, Portland, Oregon 97233. (While it contains no footage of the activity on May 18, 1980, this 40-minute video presents an interesting comparison of the areas around Mount St. Helens before and after the eruption.)

Mount St. Helens, The Turmoil of Creation Continues, produced by Panorama International Productions and available from the Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, 83 South King Street, Seattle, Washington 98104. (A 90-minute video documenting the events leading to, during, and after the catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980.)

This Place in Time: The Mount St. Helens Story, a Film Loft production available (by borrowing only) from Film Distribution Center, 13500 NE 124th Street, Suite 2, Kirkland, Washington 98034, (206) 820-2592. (A 22-minute, 16-mm movie highlighting the reawakening of Mount St. Helens and its eruptive activity.)

Small tree that survived the devastation

This small tree, protected by a snowbank, survived the devastation in the lateral-blast zone and remains among the vegetation beginning to grow on the scarred land (Photograph by Peter Lipman).


Selected Readings

Brantley, Steven, and Topinka, Lyn, 1984, Volcanic studies at the U.S. Geological Survey's David A. Johnston Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, Washington: Earthquake Information Bulletin, v. 16, no. 2, p.41-120. [A well-illustrated report of the activities and workings of the Observatory, which was established in 1981 as sister observatory to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (see Heliker and others, 1986).]

Crandell, D. R., and Mullineaux, D, R., 1978, Potential hazards from future eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1383-C, 26 p. (Description of the types of eruptions and associated volcanic hazards from Mount St. Helens--which proved to be remarkably close to what actually took place 2 years later.)

Crandell, D. R., Mullineaux, D. R., and Rubin, Meyer, 1975, Mount St. Helens Volcano: Recent and future behavior: Science, v. 187, no. 4175, p. 438- 441. (First publication to forecast that Mount St. Helens could erupt ". . . before the end of the century.")

Decker, R.W., and Decker, Barbara, 1989, Volcanoes: W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 285 p. (An information-packed introduction to the study of volcanoes written in an easy-to-read style.)

Editors, 1982, Volcano: in the series Planet Earth, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 176 p. (A well illustrated and readable general survey of volcanoes and their activity.)

Foxworthy, B. L., and Hill, Mary, 1982, Volcanic eruptions of 1980 at Mount St. Helens: The first 100 days: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1249, 125 p. (A description of the events during the first 100 days of eruptive activity, in nontechnical language, that serves as a backdrop for the scientific articles in USGS Professional Paper 1250.)

Harris, S.L., 1988, Fire Mountains of the West: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes: Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 379 p. (This is the revised and updated version of his Fire and Ice, a classic summary of the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, including Mount St. Helens.)

Heliker, Christina, Griggs, J.D., Takahashi, T.J., and Wright, T.L., 1986, Volcano monitoring at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: Earthquakes and Volcanoes (formerly Earthquake Information Bulletin), v. 18, no. 1, 72 p. (An informative and richly illustrated article on the monitoring and research activities of the Observatory that was founded in 1912.)

Lipman, P. W., and Mullineaux, D. R., editors, 1981, The 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1250, 844 p. (The most comprehensive collection of scientific articles available to date, containing 62 reports on diverse aspects of the 1980 eruptions.)

Mullineaux, D. R., 1981, Hazards from volcanic eruptions, in Hays, W. W., ed., Facing geologic and hydrologic hazards: Earth-science considerations: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1240-B, p. B86-B101. (A well-illustrated introduction to the types, frequency, and mitigation of volcanic hazards.)

Simkin, Tom, Tilling, R.I., Taggart, J.N., Jones, W.J., and Spall, Henry, compilers, 1989, This dynamic planet: World Map of volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, prepared in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (scale 1:30,000,000 at equator). (This full color, computer-generated map shows the Earth's physiographic features overlain by its volcanoes, earthquake epicenters, and relative movement of its major tectonic plates, along the boundaries of which most of the world's volcanoes and earthquake occur.)

Tilling, R. I., 1977, Monitoring active volcanoes, in U.S. Geological Survey Yearbook, Fiscal Year 1977, p. 36-40. (A generalized introduction to the common techniques of volcano monitoring. Also available as a booklet in the USGS series of general interest publications.)

------1982, Volcanoes, U.S. Geological Survey series of general interest publications, 46 p. (A general summary of the nature, types, workings, products, and hazards of volcanoes.)

Tilling, R.I., Heliker, Christina, and Wright, T.L., 1987, Eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes: Past, present, and future: U.S. Geological Survey series of general interest publications, 54 p. (A nontechnical summary, illustrated by many color photographs, of the abundant data on the processes and products of Hawaiian volcanoes; similar in format to this book.)


Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument



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Contact: John Watson

Last updated: 06.25.97