Spring of 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the reawakening of Mount St. Helens and the onset of volcanic eruptions from 1980 to 1986. In commemoration, the U.S. Geological Survey–Cascades Volcano Observatory opens its doors to the public on Saturday, May 9, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. All ages are welcome to attend this family-friendly one-day event.
Visitors can talk to volcanologists about their research, learn about the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, and the changes that have occurred over the past 40 years. Scientists will demonstrate monitoring equipment like thermal imaging, earthquake detection, and how to track ground deformation by satellite. See what a remote volcano monitoring station looks like and watch a spider do its job. The robotic arm will be operating in the sediment laboratory and scientists will be on-hand to talk about how they collect and process sediments. Learn more about landslides and volcanic hazards including whether or not you live in a hazard zone. Continuing a USGS–CVO open house tradition, visitors are invited to bring their mystery rock to be identified by a geologist.
Click on the flyer for details and location. Call 360-993-8973 if you have questions.
Mount Rainier National Park is a unique classroom, rich in resources for observing geologic change. Join us July 27–31, 2020, for a 5-day educator workshop in the Park, where we will explore the diverse and dynamic processes that have shaped the volcano and share new classroom ideas that will engage middle school students. Free camping is available to participants and Washington State clock hours are available. Registration information is on the Mount Rainier Teacher Professional Development webpage.
The application process is open for the August 2–6, 2020, GeoGirls field camp at Mount St. Helens. The free, week-long science camp targets girls graduating the 7th and 8th grades. GeoGirls, high school mentors, and teacher mentors will spend five days conducting hands-on research and interacting with scientists, learning about volcanoes, natural hazards and modern scientific monitoring technologies. They will camp, hike to field sites, work on research projects and learn how to document and share their scientific findings by building a public webpage.
Applications from middle school girls, high school girls and teacher mentors will be accepted January 6–March 6, with selections announced May 8, 2020. The program will include:
The goal of the program is for GeoGirls participants to emerge with a stronger understanding and connection to Earth systems and feel confident in choosing careers in science, technology, engineering, math or other STEM-related fields. Find all the information you need on the Mount St. Helens Institute webpage.
Exposures in valleys surrounding Mount St. Helens reveal records of diverse geologic processes including debris avalanche, lahar, huge water wave on a nearby lake, pyroclastic density currents (surge and flow), tephra fall, lava flow, growth of domes, and past glaciation. This new field guide provides detailed information for 28 self-guided field trip stops, many of which explore effects of the several catastrophes that constituted the May 18, 1980 eruption.
Follow the link to download Field trip guide to Mount St. Helens, Washington—Recent and ancient volcaniclastic processes and deposits.
Other Mount St. Helens field guides include:
Additional field-trip guides for selected volcanoes and volcanic landscapes of the western United States can be downloaded from the USGS Publications Warehouse.