Reports

Predicting Eruptions at Mount St. Helens, June 1980 Through December 1982

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Science  30 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4618, pp. 1369-1376
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4618.1369

Abstract

Thirteen eruptions of Mount St. Helens between June 1980 and December 1982 were predicted tens of minutes to, more generally, a few hours in advance. The last seven of these eruptions, starting with that of mid-April 1981, were predicted between 3 days and 3 weeks in advance. Precursory seismicity, deformation of the crater floor and the lava dome, and, to a lesser extent, gas emissions provided telltale evidence of forthcoming eruptions. The newly developed capability for prediction reduced risk to life and property and influenced land-use decisions.