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Ash from Mt. Saint Helen's

$14.00

The ash in this capsule was violently ejected from Mount St. Helens during the most disastrous volcanic activity in US history.

On the morning of May 18 1980, after weeks of small tremors, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the state of Washington. The quake caused the largest landslide ever recorded according to the USGS, and simultaneously, a lateral explosion from the side of the mountain.

The explosion was rated a 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index making it one of the largest eruptions in the 20th century. The sound of the eruption was heard up to 700 miles away.

Some areas were covered in debris, avalanches, and mudflows, and forests were scorched and scoured with hot gases. The ash reached 12 miles high and ash-fall was reported up to 1,500 miles away. 

The ash of every volcanic eruption is unique based on the chemistry, crystal content, temperature and dissolved gases of the erupting magma. Highly explosive eruptions, such as this one, produce brighter ash due to the higher silica content. 

Listing is for one sample of volcanic ash, including acrylic display case.

Diameter = 40.6mm or 1.6”

Pickup available at our Tulsa Storefront

Usually ready in 24 hours

Ash from Mt. Saint Helen's

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MT. SAINT HELENS

On March 27, 1980, a series of volcanic explosions and pyroclastic flows began at Mount St. Helens in Skamania County, Washington, United States. A series of phreatic blasts occurred from the summit and escalated until a major explosive eruption took place on May 18, 1980. The eruption, which had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 5, was the most significant to occur in the contiguous United States since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California.

It has often been declared the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a large bulge and a fracture system on the mountain's north slope. An earthquake at 8:32:11 am PDT (UTC−7) on Sunday, May 18, 1980 caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, creating the largest landslide in recorded history. This allowed the partly molten rock, rich in high-pressure gas and steam, to suddenly explode northward toward Spirit Lake in a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock, overtaking the landslide.

An eruption column rose 80,000 feet (24 km; 15 mi) into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. At the same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the volcano melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River, nearly 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest.

Less severe outbursts continued into the next day, only to be followed by other large, but not as destructive, eruptions later that year. Thermal energy released during the eruption was equal to 26 megatons of TNT.

About 57 people were killed, including innkeeper and World War I veteran Harry R. Truman, photographers Reid Blackburn and Robert Landsburg, and geologist David A. Johnston. Hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland, causing over $1 billion in damage (equivalent to $3.5 billion in 2020), thousands of animals were killed, and Mount St. Helens was left with a crater on its north side. At the time of the eruption, the summit of the volcano was owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad, but afterward, the railroad donated the land to the United States Forest Service. The area was later preserved in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

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Ash from Mt. Saint Helen's

Ash from Mt. Saint Helen's

$14.00