Virtual OMSI Mount St. Helens 40th Anniversary

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Do you remember where you were when Mt. St. Helens blew? Being born and raised in Vancouver, I sure do!

A lot has been learned since that eruption on May 18, 1980. Join OMSI for a Virtual Edition of “What We’ve Learned Since 1980” with Heather Wright, PhD, Volcanologist with the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program on Monday, May 18, 2020, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Forty years ago, Mount St. Helens experienced a cataclysmic eruption. On May 18, 1980, the northern side of the volcano collapsed, triggering a forceful blast that raced across the landscape, an explosive eruption column that rose vertically in the air, pyroclastic flows that swept down the mountain, and a series of large mudflows that raced down river valleys toward the Columbia River. What did this eruption teach us about volcanic processes and management of volcanic crises? And most importantly, where do we go from here?

As a research geologist, Heather Wright spends a lot of time traversing the flanks of volcanoes around the globe, studying ash and pumice deposits to reconstruct eruptive histories and to provide clues about the inner workings of active volcanoes. Her research focuses on understanding what controls the style of eruption produced during volcanic crises and how to forecast activity prior to an eruption.

You can watch the event via Facebook at 6:15 PM by visiting either OMSI’s Facebook Live page ( or OMSI’s main Facebook page and scrolling down.

You DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch the live stream. OMSI will NOT ask you to sign up for anything or require your credit card information to watch the event.

You can also watch the event via YouTube at 6:15 PM by visiting OMSI’s YouTube Channel ( and clicking on the live event.

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