What Happened To the Surface of the Earth?
When Mt. St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980 one of the most catastrophic environmental events in modern history occurred. More than 57 humans died, many animals were killed, various species of trees were destroyed, and rivers were ruined.
Prior to the mountain’s eruption many scientists had thought that if the mountain were to explode or erupt, magma, rocks, ash, water, and steam would come out of the top of the mountain. Instead, when the mountain exploded superheated rocks and magma came blasting out of its side at supersonic speeds (Bagley 2013). The second explosion sent debris, ash, and smoke over 12 miles into the air eventually landing in seven neighboring states (Bagley, 2013).
The mountain’s eruption ruined many wild animal habitats for example (birds or deer didn’t have anywhere to sleep or live) because the explosion knocked over and burned trees, bushes, grass, and paths. Most of the animals lost their homes because of this eruption. Houses and camp sites were destroyed, and roads were not drivable because they were destroyed by magma, lava, rocks, and gigantic piles of ash.
Bagley, Mary: Live Science, February 28, 2013http://www.livescience.com/27553-mount-st-helens-eruption.html