What Do Mount St. Helens and the Grand Canyon Have in Common?

Contributor: Kathi Thomas. Lesson ID: 10844

In 1980, Mt. Saint Helens blew her top! And that was a good thing for geologists. It created a mini-Grand Canyon and controversy over the age of Earth. Videos and articles let you in on the findings!


Earth Science, United States

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Watch this fascinating video of Mt. St. Helens Eruption May 18, 1980:

Mount St. Helens has been described by many as a gigantic geologic laboratory.

Not only has it provided scientists the opportunity to see some incredible geologic processes at work, but as the first volcano to erupt in North America in over a century, Mount St. Helens enabled researchers to document, firsthand, the awesome power of seismic and volcanic activity on the structure of the earth in real-time.

Before you continue; if you missed or need to review the previous Related Lessons in our Mysteries of Geology series, you can find them in the right-hand sidebar.

Live Science provides a great article that describes the sequence of events before, during, and after the explosion of the volcano in the spring of 1980. Read the article carefully to understand the scope and significance of the eruption, and the impact it continues to have on the northwestern part of the United States: Mount St. Helens Eruption: Facts & Information.

When you are ready, continue on to the Got It? section to explore the age-of-the-earth controversy!

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