Mount St. Helens Eruption of 18 May 1980: Air Waves and Explosive Yield

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Science  31 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4507, pp. 539-541
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4507.539


Strong atmospheric acoustic-gravity waves were recorded by sensitive microbarographs and seismographs at large distances from the Mount St. Helens eruption of 18 May 1980. Wave signatures were similar to those of waves from large nuclear explosions. Independent theoretical and empirical analyses indicate that the explosive yield of the eruption was approximately 35 megatons.