Helens Project- Guided Research Paper Option

Your good friend in the Highlands of Scotland has learned that Mount St. Helens has “reawakened” and is worried sick that Mount St. Helens will erupt and you will perish.

Your friend is smart and curious but has never seen a volcano. Write your friend a letter explaining the current situation.

? Your goal is to learn about the present and past volcanic activity at Mount St.Helens and what hazards Mount St. Helens poses to us in the future.

? Use web and library resources to research this topic.

? Relate what you have learned in a letter to your ?friend’ using your own words.

? Your letter should be typed double spaced and include an introduction and a conclusion.

? Your letter should include illustrative figures which are referenced in the text and should include a bibliography.

? In your letter make sure to explain the following points to your friend:

1. Volcano Behavior Describe how volcanoes erupt and the products of volcanic eruptions. Specific questions you should address are: What is the difference between effusive, explosive (pyroclastic) and phreatic eruptions? Describe the products created by each type of eruption. Make sure to clearly differentiate between a lava flow and a lava dome; between a pyroclastic flow and a lateral blast; and a lahar and a debris avalanche.

2. Geography of Mount St. Helens Describe Mount St. Helens as it is today. Specific questions you should address are: Where is Mount St. Helens located? How large is Mount St. Helens? What type of volcano is Mount St. Helens? What are the main rivers which drain Mount St. Helens? Where do they flow to? Are there glaciers on Mount St. Helens; if so how many and how large? A map would be a really helpful figure for this section.

3. Pre-1980 Eruptions Describe the geologic history of Mount St. Helens. Specific questions you should address are: What methods have geologists used to unravel the geologic history of Mount St. Helens? Has the eruption history of Mount St. Helens been continuous or episodic? What are the major eruptive stages of Mount St. Helens? When did they occur? How long did they last? What type of lava was erupted during each? Where the eruptions explosive or effusive? When was the volcano we see today constructed?

4. 1980-1987 Activity Describe the events before, during and after the May 18th 1980 eruption. Specific questions you should address are: What was the first sign that Mount St. Helens was entering an active period? What events occurred before the May 18theruption? What events occurred during the May 18th eruption? What events occurred after the May 18th eruption? The May 18th eruption was a complex event! Make sure you describe the landslide, lateral blast, pyroclastic flows, tephra air falls and lahars associated with the eruption as well as the dome building following the eruption.


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