Home Off Beat Mount St. Helens is Erupting Quietly

Mount St. Helens is Erupting Quietly

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Mount St. Helens is erupting now! The current eruption of Mount St. Helens is now in its 15th month. But, how is it so? As volcanic eruptions go, it’s unusually quiet. And it shows no signs of turning violent! There are no explosions; no ash is thrown into the sky. Unlike the current eruption, the cataclysmic eruption on May 18, 1980, blew off the top 1,300 feet of the mountain, flattened thousands of acres of forest and killed 57 people. There is not even lava. Instead, what is coming out of the ground is a tube of rock that, while still hot, solidified perhaps half a mile underground and then was pushed upward. In early months of the eruption, the cylinder of new rock, toppled to the side as it rose. It is about 200 yards in diameter. Now, the new rock is buried beneath earlier material and just pushes up the entire hill.

Via: New York Times