Photos of Mount St. Helens: Before, during and aftermath

Photographs of Mount St. Helens before, during and after the May 18, 1980, eruption

Before During Aftermath

Before:

Photographs of Mount St. Helens before the May 18, 1980, eruption. The mountain was known as the "Mount Fuji of America."

 
Before the devastating May 18, 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens was considered to be one of the most beautiful and most frequently-climbed peaks in the Cascade Range. Spirit Lake was a vacation area offering hiking, camping, boating, and fishing.
USFS Photograph taken before May 18, 1980, by Jim Nieland, U.S. Forest Service, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.


Aerial view of Mount St. Helens, taken from the southwest. Dark andesite flows of Kalama age include a lava-flow complex on the southeast flank of the volcano and single flows on the southwest flank. Dacite of the summit dome forms the slopes above the lava flows.
USGS Photograph taken 1979 by Rick Hoblitt.


BEFORE: Mount St. Helens from the south, as seen from West Linn, Oregon.
USGS Photograph taken in 1977 by Ken Cameron.


Aerial view of Mount St. Helens, taken from the northeast.
USGS Photograph taken before September 1964, by D.R. Mullineaux.
 

During

Images of the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens:


Day after the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
USGS Photograph taken on May 19, 1980, by Peter Lipman.


On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook Mount St. Helens. The bulge and surrounding area slid away in a gigantic rockslide and debris avalanche, releasing pressure, and triggering a major pumice and ash eruption of the volcano. Thirteen-hundred feet (400 meters) of the peak collapsed or blew outwards. As a result, 24 square miles (62 square kilometers) of valley was filled by a debris avalanche, 250 square miles (650 square kilometers) of recreation, timber, and private lands were damaged by a lateral blast, and an estimated 200 million cubic yards (150 million cubic meters) of material was deposited directly by lahars (volcanic mudflows) into the river channels. Fifty-seven people were killed or are still missing.
USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Austin Post.


May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Original negative is 9x9 black/white aerial.
USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Robert Krimmel.

After

USGS photographs of the aftermath of the May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption that changed the way America looks at geologic hazards.


May 18, 1980 lahar covering highway at the Toutle River. The bridge was wiped out. USGS Photograph taken July 1, 1980, by Lyn Topinka.


Garage devastated by May 18, 1980 mudflow.
USGS Photograph taken in the July 15, 1980, by Lyn Topinka.


Reid Blackburn's car, located approximately 10 miles from Mount St. Helens. Reid was a photographer for National Geographic as well as the Vancouver's Columbian newspaper.
USGS Photograph taken on May 31, 1980, by Dan Dzurisin.


Large boulder left by the May 18, 1980 mudflows, Muddy River.
USGS Photograph taken on September 16, 1980, by Lyn Topinka.


Remains of the bridge crossing the Muddy River.
USGS Photograph taken on September 23, 1980, by Lyn Topinka.

All photographs courtesy USGS