Mt St Helens Essay Research Paper The

Mt. St. Helens Essay, Research Paper

The two case studies I chose for my paper are the Mount St. Helen and Mount Pinatubo volcano eruptions. In this paper I will compare and contrasts the two volcanic eruptions on an individual, economic, and globally implications.

The Mount St. Helens eruption took place on May 18, 1980. The eruption was designated as a five on the volcano index. The Mount Pinatubo eruption took place on

June 15, 1991,and it was designated as a six on the volcano index. Mount Pinatubo eruption was about ten times larger than Mount St. Helens.

Both volcano eruptions experienced a similar pattern. Both volcanoes had earthquakes before the actual eruption. Both eruptions generated tremendous amounts of ash and volcanic debris that resulted in large lahars that devastated much of the surrounding land, cities, and homes. Both eruptions afterward experienced many small earthquakes.

Another similarity of both these eruptions is the effect it had on the people. In both eruptions lives were lost due to roofs collapsing or being incinerated from high temperature ash clouds, which effected obviously those people who lost there lives and family members along with surviving members of the community. People in both of these eruptions experienced loss of there homes and personal belongings, mainly due to the devastating lahars sweeping there homes away, or being covered in large quantities of volcanic debris and ash, or just being shook to the ground by the numerous earthquakes. People in both eruptions also experienced high stress levels emotional pains and economic hardships.

Although both people suffered economic hardships due to the volcano eruptions, I would have to say this was a point of contrast. The cost of the Mount St. Helens eruption cost around 1.1 billion dollars, I did not find any dollar amounts for the Mount Pinatubo eruption but I am almost certain it did not cost that much in dollars happening in a much non-industrial country such as the Philippines. The Mount St. Helen eruption it was estimated that it cost 2.2 million dollars and ten days to remove ash from highways and airports. In Mount Pinatubo I did not find any information that they removed the ash, it covered and destroyed 250,000 acres of agricultural land, and filled runoff drainage that was 4-5 centuries old which resulted in mass flooding. The Mount St. Helen eruption took out 4 billion feet of timber, enough to build 150,000 homes. The lahars as a result of the large amounts of ash and volcanic debris mixing with rain destroyed 200 homes. The ash fall from Mount St. Helens got into automobiles and clogged engines and ruined other machinery. The cost for the Mount Pinatubo eruption could never be measured in dollars and cents for the resulting effects it had on a global scale.

Another difference in the two eruptions was the effects it had on a global scale. The Mount St. Helens eruption was a large-scale eruption that erupted a large amount of ash. The ash drifted throughout the United States but I did not find that much information that it had erupted so much it effected the whole planet in so many negative ways like Mount Pinatubo did. Mount Pinatubo erupted so much ash into the air the very fine particles stayed in the global atmosphere reducing the global temperature as much as 1 degree Fahrenheit. Also during the eruption a large cloud of sulfur dioxide was released into the atmosphere. When the sulfur dioxide combines with water to form sulfuric acid, which is a main component of acid rain, which harms fish, trees, and lots of other organisms.

Both Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo were devastating natural disasters but what I found real interesting is how Mount St. Helens did so little comparison to Mount Pinatubo but there is so much more publicity towards Mount St. Helens. Mount Pinatubo eruption was the world?s largest known eruption in more than half a century, and caused the most change to the planet, but in all the information I found is seemed to me the bottom line was the dollar amount. The final similarity I found was how both incidents were monitored by volconoligist and people were told to evacuate limiting the human life lost.

Tilling, Robert ?Eruptions of Mount St. Helens: Past, Present, and Future.? USGS

Special Interest Publications (1990) n. pag. Online.Internet 23 Nov. 1998


Topinka, Lyn ?CVO Photo Archives- Mount St. Helens Images? USGS/Cascades

Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, Washington n.pag. online. Internet. 23 Nov.

1998 Available:

Lipman, P.W. and Mullineaux, D.R. ?The 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens?

Washington, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper n. pag. Online Internet. 23 Nov. 1998 Available:

?Tell me about Pinatubo? Volcano World n.pag. Online Internet 23 Nov. 1998



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