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Discuss the environmental imapact of Mt. St. Helens tectonic eruption.

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Discuss the environmental impact of a Mount St. Helens tectonic event. Introduction Mount St Helens is an active volcano, south-western Washington in the Cascade Range. The volcano which had been dormant since 1857, began to show signs of renewed activity in early 1980. On May 18 1980, it erupted with such violence that the top of the mountain was blown off and a cloud of ash and gases was sent to an altitude of 19 km (12 mi). The blast killed 57 people and destroyed all life in an area of some 180 sq km (70 sq mi); an even wider area was covered with ash and debris. It continues to emit ash and steam intermittently. As a result of the eruption, the mountain's elevation was decreased from 2,950 m (9,677 ft) to 2,550 m (8,365 ft). A National Volcano Monument was established here in 1982. ...read more.


Landslide was biggest ever recorded. The satellite picture shows the damage of the volcano's blast to the forest. Thousands of trees up to 13km around the volcano were destroyed they were incinerated from the Pyroclastic flow. From there 30km around the volcano were blown down trees, that had to be salvaged for timber. Following that was the seared/scorched trees, which would take years to recover. The blast has caused severe damage to the vegetation around Mount St. Helens which will last for years to come. When Mount St. Helens erupted it caused massive damage to the climax community vegetation of the region mainly coniferous woodlands. With whole areas now covered in bare rock vegetation succession has now got to take place again. Starting with the pioneer communities having to reconalize the area. Vegetation succession takes years to finish with the Climax vegetation. The environmental impact of this is tremendous. ...read more.


If you look at the diagram on the right you can see the red represents highest ground and the purple is low lying ground. Because of this at the bottom of the Volcano is low lying ground and Lahars and Pyroclastic flows hug the ground. Causing the Pyroclastic flow to be directed down the slope on the north side because it is all low lying ground. The volcano only caused one global impact, the atmospheric dust cloud. Mount St. Helens before the eruption was 9,677 feet. After the eruption it dropped to 8,365 feet. The ash cloud reached over 15km into the sky, by two weeks it had encircled the entire planet. All around the world day had turned to night, this was a global impact that lasted for weeks. The lasting impact of the eruption will always been seen at Mt. St. Helens. As pic. 5 shows there has been a massive scare left on the Vlocano forever. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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The student addresses the question in a logical way although I question the completeness of this piece of work. The work , whilst I believe it to be on the short side (it should be remembered that it is always ...

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Response to the question

The student addresses the question in a logical way although I question the completeness of this piece of work. The work , whilst I believe it to be on the short side (it should be remembered that it is always 'quality not quantity' and therefore the length was not totally relevant), seemed incomplete due to the fact that student seemed to have chosen to lay out the work by using subtitles but the only subtitle I can find is 'introduction' and afterwards, there is nothing more. Yet, the entire piece of work submitted here could not have been the introduction, therefore this is a bit confusing. Other than this, the student shows a clearly understanding of the topic and supports this by referring to diagrams or graphs.

Level of analysis

The writer shows the appropriate analytical skills required for GCSE and it is typical of a student to lay their work out like this student has done. It guides the examiner logically and clearly through their work which helps gain higher marks. The student shows a clear understanding by using figures and graphs (or diagrams) to support their argument. This further demonstrates their knowledge to the examiner which helps them gain higher marks. Their response, whilst clear, lacks fluency at times. Although I did not fail to follow through their piece of work, I could not explicitly see that it was answering the question. This perhaps was due to the fluency of the piece of work and so goes to show the importance of pre-planning for coursework.

Quality of writing

The punctuation is fine, however their grammar and spelling are unforgivable at GCSE level. The number of typos in this piece of work is shocking for a piece of coursework and does not help the grade. The technical terms would best be put into a glossary to further demonstrate the understanding of the student. This student applies the technical terms well and hence, shows that they understand the topic. Apart from the grammar and spelling, the student follows the typical GCSE student structure and level of detail throughout this piece of work. Those who gain the highest grades always 'go that extra step' and do further analysis to (almost) 'show off' their understanding. Such work appeals to the examiner as it would classed as 'different' and so they would award higher marks.

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