The eruption of Mount St. Helen’s in Washington State on May 18, 1980, made a huge impact on America! The earthquake and rock slide alone involved one-half cubic mile of rock! (They say that all the people in the world can fit in 1 cubic mile of space) As the summit and north slope slid off the volcano that morning, pressure was released inside the volcano – where super hot liquid water immediately flashed to steam.
The northward-directed steam explosion released energy equivalent to 20 million tons of TNT, which toppled 150 square miles of forest in 6 minutes.
In Spirit lake, north of the volcano, an enormous water wave, stripped trees from slopes as high as 850 feet above the pre-eruption water level.
The total energy output, on May 18, was equivalent to 400 million tons of TNT – approximately 20,000 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs.
RAPIDLY FORMED STRATIFICATION
Mt. St. Helen’s left layers of strata up to 400 feet since 1980.
Mount St. Helen’s teaches us that the stratified layers commonly characterizing geologic column with different layers meaning different ages is inaccurate because they can form very rapidly by flow processes.
Because of this we observe a tiny canyon that is one fortieth the scale model of the Grand Canyon! And believe it or not, the little Toutle River and small creeks that flow through it, Geologists could easily tell you that the rivers carved the canyons over millions of years, but actually tons of water hot magma, and volcanic activity caused it in just a matter of a very short time.