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Report on St. Helens (United States) — December 1982

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 12 (December 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

St. Helens (United States) Deformation, seismicity and SO2 emission quiet

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on St. Helens (United States). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198212-321050.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


St. Helens

United States

46.2°N, 122.18°W; summit elev. 2549 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gas emission, deformation, and seismicity remained quiet through the end of December. SO2 emission ranged from 20 to 35 t/d, similar to the decreased amounts measured in November. No significant deformation of the composite lava dome or the edifice as a whole was detected. Some sagging of the dome continued, but at declining rates. Seismicity remained at background levels. Seismic records showed a few signals that may have been generated by small avalanches, but no gas emission events were detected.

Further Reference. Special Section: Mount St. Helens: Science, 1983, v. 221, p. 1369-1396 (9 papers).

Geologic Background. Prior to 1980, Mount St. Helens formed a conical, youthful volcano sometimes known as the Fuji-san of America. During the 1980 eruption the upper 400 m of the summit was removed by slope failure, leaving a 2 x 3.5 km horseshoe-shaped crater now partially filled by a lava dome. Mount St. Helens was formed during nine eruptive periods beginning about 40-50,000 years ago and has been the most active volcano in the Cascade Range during the Holocene. Prior to 2200 years ago, tephra, lava domes, and pyroclastic flows were erupted, forming the older St. Helens edifice, but few lava flows extended beyond the base of the volcano. The modern edifice was constructed during the last 2200 years, when the volcano produced basaltic as well as andesitic and dacitic products from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions in the 19th century originated from the Goat Rocks area on the north flank, and were witnessed by early settlers.

Information Contacts: T. Casadevall, D. Swanson, USGS CVO, Vancouver, WA; S. Malone, University of Washington.