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(YouTube)   29 years ago today, Mount. St. Helens popped like a zit before the prom   (youtube.com) divider line 60
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5158 clicks; posted to Video » on 19 May 2009 at 6:54 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-05-19 02:59:19 PM  
Who cares about Canada.
 
2009-05-19 03:04:05 PM  
Actually it was 29 years ago yesterday (May 18th) that Mount St. Helens blew its top.
 
2009-05-19 03:07:16 PM  
Biiiiiiii .. lyyyyyyyy .. Sheeeeeeeeears!
 
2009-05-19 03:19:47 PM  
Thanks subby. That was interesting. I was a high school sophomore at the time in Miami. We were much more concerned with our own safety / welfare at that time because of the race riots in Liberty City. My dad's boat business was near there and we weren't sure if it was going to survive. It did thanks to the big bad watch dogs he kept in the boat yard.
 
2009-05-19 03:34:05 PM  
Bathia_Mapes: Actually it was 29 years ago yesterday (May 18th) that Mount St. Helens blew its top.

Beat me to it

Apparently, the eruption was predicted with the help of something called "volcano monitoring."
 
2009-05-19 03:35:36 PM  
A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.
 
2009-05-19 03:43:25 PM  
awkward
 
2009-05-19 03:45:59 PM  
CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

Hindsight would show that was a terrible decision.
 
2009-05-19 03:52:11 PM  
Interesting how a 'racial explosion' in Miami was tied into a story about a geological explosion in Washington State.
 
2009-05-19 04:01:51 PM  
Gosh this makes me feel old.
 
2009-05-19 04:02:39 PM  
CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

Harry R. Truman?
 
2009-05-19 04:08:45 PM  
...and it's been plagued by giant flies ever since.
 
2009-05-19 04:46:27 PM  
gopher321: ...and it's been plagued by giant flies ever since.

and Cubans!

Oh you mean Spirit Lake...
 
2009-05-19 04:49:33 PM  
Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Ditto, bro.
 
2009-05-19 05:09:53 PM  
DaWormyPimpsta: Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Ditto, bro.


I remember waking up that morning and there was ash EVERYWHERE and thinking it was snow. But the parents wouldn't let us go outside because the air was so thick with it. My dad's parents had a cabin up there that was washed away in the mudslide that followed.
 
2009-05-19 05:26:33 PM  
Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Me too. I was 27 years old and about 5 months pregnant when Mount St Helens blew its top.
 
2009-05-19 05:27:54 PM  
Bathia_Mapes: Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Me too. I was 27 years old and about 5 months pregnant when Mount St Helens blew its top.


I was 10. My grandma was out there on vacation and brought back some ash. I think I still have it.
 
2009-05-19 05:29:25 PM  
CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

Harry Truman?
 
2009-05-19 05:32:06 PM  
Diogenes: I was 10. My grandma was out there on vacation and brought back some ash. I think I still have it.

I was living in Springfield, Oregon at the time. We were able to collect enough ash to fill a small aspirin bottle. We sent it to my maternal grandmother in Denver. We didn't get a lot of ash because the wind shifted, but we got enough that there were regular warnings about its removal from the surface of vehicles, etc., on the evening news.
 
2009-05-19 05:35:01 PM  
That was the first week that I worked at the historic site that I'm still at.

I remember sitting at the breakfast table, and there was a big "thump," like someone kicking a soccer ball against the outside of the house. We're about 200 miles north-west of the site of the explosion.
 
2009-05-19 05:49:27 PM  
Bathia_Mapes: Actually it was 29 years ago yesterday (May 18th) that Mount St. Helens blew its top.

This. About 8:00am. Day after my birthday.
 
2009-05-19 07:26:12 PM  
and she hasn't been laid ever since.
 
2009-05-19 07:33:11 PM  
CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

he's entombed by Mother Earth.
 
2009-05-19 08:01:58 PM  
Man, 29 years? I was scheduled to be climbing the mountain THAT day.

Darwin missed. (Not that we'd have run the road blocks...)
 
2009-05-19 08:10:19 PM  
Good call, Smitty.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-05-19 08:18:57 PM  
I remember it, and the National Geographic that followed.
 
2009-05-19 08:52:53 PM  
I was nine years old living in Spokane, WA. It was surreal. I remember the sky turning black in midday. No cars on the streets, street lights on in the afternoon. We got about six or seven inches of ash.

We rode our Big Wheels through ash piles we made.
 
2009-05-19 09:10:24 PM  
CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

Which one was he, do you know? (new window)

Amazing how far some people were from the mountain and were still killed by it. You'd think that, say, 17 miles away would be sufficient, right? Nope.
 
2009-05-19 09:12:38 PM  
Sorry, I meant 13 miles. Still...
 
2009-05-19 09:12:43 PM  
"There is no record in geology, in the last 4,000 years, of anything happening like this before. The tremendous lateral blast is unprecedented."

Nice to see Dan Rather had a taste for unsupported exaggeration even 29 years ago. I'm a little hazy on dates, but Krakatoa was a slight bit more recent than 4,000 years, IIRC.
 
2009-05-19 09:41:53 PM  
Bathia_Mapes: Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Me too. I was 27 years old and about 5 months pregnant when Mount St Helens blew its top.


I was 1 year and 10 months. Ha ha, you're OLD!

/wait, I'm 30?!
//back hurts
///fark
 
2009-05-19 09:49:27 PM  
My dad got hired by the USGS's Cascade Volcano Observatory a few months after the eruption. He has some great stories from working inside and around the crater.

And to make you folks saying "That makes me feel old!" feel even older: I wasn't even BORN yet when St. Helens went off. I am now 23 years old.

And Burn_Atlanta, the 1980 eruption of St. Helens was rather different from the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. Dan Rather was correct: there are no records of another lateral blast like that seen on May 18th.
 
2009-05-19 10:59:32 PM  
Hi guys. Rainier here.
Oh, what am I doing?
Oh, nothing...

vulcan.wr.usgs.gov
 
2009-05-19 11:00:43 PM  
chopit: Bathia_Mapes: Diogenes: Gosh this makes me feel old.

Me too. I was 27 years old and about 5 months pregnant when Mount St Helens blew its top.

I was 1 year and 10 months. Ha ha, you're OLD!

/wait, I'm 30?!
//back hurts
///fark


I was nearly 7 months old. I will start feeling old when I recall stuff that occured 30 years ago.
 
2009-05-19 11:34:32 PM  
chopit: I was 1 year and 10 months. Ha ha, you're OLD!

/wait, I'm 30?!
//back hurts
///fark


i166.photobucket.com
 
2009-05-19 11:35:50 PM  
Lachwen:
And Burn_Atlanta, the 1980 eruption of St. Helens was rather different from the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. Dan Rather was correct: there are no records of another lateral blast like that seen on May 18th.



Erm, actually, Krakatoa did have a lateral component. The wiki article on Krakatoa mentions it: "...Around a thousand people were killed, the only large number of victims killed by Krakatoa itself, and not the waves or after-effects. Verbeek and later writers believe this unique event was a lateral blast or pyroclastic surge, similar to the catastrophic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, which crossed the water"

It was a massive pyroclastic flow, basically a superhot cloud of rock and gas that flows downhill, that had enough force and momentum to flow off the rapidly destructing island of Krakatoa, across a strait of ocean water, and impact the coastline of another nearby island. Wow!

/The more you know
//Geology rocks
 
2009-05-19 11:35:58 PM  
Wow, a real news cast. That was cooler to watch than the photos. Just kidding... **BOOOOOOMMMMMM**
 
2009-05-19 11:37:43 PM  
A pyroclastic flow does not require half the mountainside falling off to occur. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo proves this. The possibility of a true lateral blast at Krakatoa is pure speculation.
 
2009-05-20 12:08:20 AM  
As someone who used to work at both KOMO and KIMA TV, and now lives in the Orting valley below Mt. Rainier - I'm really not getting a kick out of these replies.

/practices evacuations every six months, has EAS radio next to bed
 
2009-05-20 12:35:32 AM  
I remember watching this from the front yard of our home in Vancouver, it sure does not seem like it's been 29 years.
 
2009-05-20 12:37:00 AM  
My grandfather was there that day. Took pictures and gave them all to me in a book which I still have. I visited there a few months ago and it's eerie - almost like it happened yesterday. All the trees are still leveled and no plants are growing anywhere near there. Almost seems like an atomic bomb went off........
 
2009-05-20 01:16:03 AM  
gunofason1: My grandfather was there that day. Took pictures and gave them all to me in a book which I still have. I visited there a few months ago and it's eerie - almost like it happened yesterday. All the trees are still leveled and no plants are growing anywhere near there. Almost seems like an atomic bomb went off........

...actually, the plant and animal life is returning much faster than biologists originally expected. There's new growth all over the place.
 
2009-05-20 01:27:55 AM  
Lachwen you are right- a pyroclastic flow does not require half the mountain to fall off. I don't understand your comment though- what is a "true lateral blast", and what qualifies Mt St Helens as such? St Helens had a massive vertical component; according to wikipedia (it seems trustworthy enough, in this case) the eruption sent ash 12 miles vertically into the air. Photographs from the eruption clearly show a Plinian-type ash column.

I think the evidence regarding a lateral blast at Krakatoa is pretty clear, although the exact mechanisms cannot be as well understood given the lack of eyewitnesses to the eruption. The pyroclastic cloud from the Krakatoa eruption traveled 40 kilometers over open ocean to devastate an adjacent island. I did some searching on the internet about this and according to the USGS typical pyroclastic flows travel 2-4 km but may travel as much as 15 km. Some research has been done to suggest that pyroclastic flows may travel farther and faster over water than land, but a distance of 40 km suggests (to me) a significant lateral blast.

Yes, the landslide immediately prior to the Mt St Helens eruption was somewhat unusual- but it was only a catalyst for the eruption and not the main event. Using wikipedia as a reference (again) the lateral blast lasted only 30 seconds to a minute. The most common interpretation of this eruption has the landslide (your lateral blast) quickly unloading the pressure on the magma inside, allowing the eruption proper to commence (the vertical component). The lateral component of the eruption quickly collapsed and became a gravity driven flow. It is a common mistake, I believe, to envision a massive continual lateral blast occuring at Mt St Helens. Also, as I understand things, experts are still not clear whether the landslide caused the large earthquake that was recorded just prior to the eruption, or whether the earthquake caused the landslide.

I mention all this only to make the point that Mt St Helens was not all that unique, as it appeared you were implying. In the clip Dan Rather is wrong too, although volcanology has come a long way since the 1980s and he may simply not have known any better.
 
2009-05-20 01:45:12 AM  
Also, just to put things in perspective: Here is a picture I found of, apparently, a 2000 meter tall volcanic island seen from another island ~40 km away. Prior to the 1883 eruption Krakatoa was approximately 800 meters tall- so significantly smaller than the island in the picture.

It is mind boggling to imagine being an inhabitant of that island and watching the volcano erupt and this cloud travel, and travel, and travel, to engulf your island.

And Krakatoa will surely erupt again. Scary stuff...
 
2009-05-20 01:56:03 AM  
Why does Dan look confused at 1:36 ????
 
2009-05-20 02:07:29 AM  
30 Mount St. Helens agree.
 
2009-05-20 02:21:38 AM  
alaskan gold digger: Lachwen you are right- a pyroclastic flow does not require half the mountain to fall off. I don't understand your comment though- what is a "true lateral blast", and what qualifies Mt St Helens as such? St Helens had a massive vertical component; according to wikipedia (it seems trustworthy enough, in this case) the eruption sent ash 12 miles vertically into the air. Photographs from the eruption clearly show a Plinian-type ash column.

What differentiates the eruption at St. Helens from other volcanic eruptions is that the initial blast went sideways. It was a situation that was completely unanticipated, and is the reason why several people well outside the evacuation zone were killed. Yes, after the north slope failed there was a vertical ash column, but the initial direction of the energy was parallel to the ground. That's why I discounted the pyroclastic flows at Krakatoa as proof of a lateral blast, because a pyroclasic flow is not a "blast" and can occur completely independently of any lateral energy release.

Take any statements of mine with the requisite grain of salt, as I am not a board-certified geologist. But I have always been fascinated by the more dynamic parts of geology and have been studying volcanology for many years.
 
2009-05-20 02:42:03 AM  
I remember being older and reading the National Geographic that came out afterwards. That was an amazing issue.
 
2009-05-20 03:34:14 AM  
Smokey the Bare: CheddarPants: A friend of mine's dad lived near Mt. St. Helens and refused to evacuate. He was never heard from again.

Hindsight would show that was a terrible decision.


Really? Why would you say that?
 
2009-05-20 09:48:33 AM  
I was 10 years old in N. Idaho and we had been working outside all day so when this huge dark cloud was seen coming our way after lunch we thought it was one heck of a rain storm coming.

My dad said, well hell, now is the time to throw out some fertilizer before it downpours!

So, about 4:00 we were out there with handkerchiefs around our mouths and using hoses to spray down the lawn so the fertilizer would not burn it since there really was no rain.
 
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