Volcano Day is June 2, 2018!

New this year, we are partnering with the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory to bring you science and family fun at Volcano Day at the Rice Museum.

Volcano Day 2

 

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, CVO scientists will give short talks throughout the day on our Cascades volcanoes and volcano science. Have a question about the volcanoes in your backyard? Wondering what’s going on with the eruption in Hawai’i? Ask the experts!

Hands-on activities for all ages will take place in our galleries and on the lawn. And don’t miss Trash-Cano, the explosive eruption demonstration that will happen after each talk!

Local collector Mike Medvec will also be displaying his extensive collection of memorabilia from the famous 1980 eruption at Mt. St. Helens.

Don’t miss the fun! Event runs 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Included with regular museum admission.

15,000 Year Old Agate Knife Found in Oregon

Orange Agate from Rimrock Draw Rockshelter Excavation - Bureau of Land Management Oregon held in hand.OPB Radio reported on the amazing archaeological discover of a knife carved from agate currently estimated from 15,000 years ago in Eastern Oregon, evidence of what could be the oldest human occupation west of the Rocky Mountains, shaking up many theories on North American human history.

Carved from clear orange agate, the stone knife has been described as a Swiss Army Knife of its day with a serrated point edge like a saw and a steep, flaked edge used to carve wood and scrape hides and cut meat from the bones of prey. Blood found on the stone has been tested and found to be Bison antiques, an ancient ancestor of the modern bison or buffalo in North America. Continue reading

Rare Film Footage of Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Eruption

Last year, rare footage of a documentary on Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption from the late 1980s was shared on YouTube.

The documentary shows old photographs from before the eruption dating back to the 1950s, exploring the campgrounds, parks, lakes, and forested areas, now changed forever by the destructive forces of the volcano erupting in 1980. Mount St. Helens formed 275,000 years ago.

March 27, 1980, the volcano erupted, closing the Gifford Pinchot National Park, and bringing thousand of scientists and forest service experts to the mountain to document every moment of this monumental event. May 18, 1980, the volcano exploded at 8:32am, killing 57 people, and destroying 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railroad, and 185 miles of highway. For over nine hours, the plume of ash rose approximately 16 miles above sea level, moving eastward at about 60 miles per hour, reaching Idaho by noon, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, by the next day. A debris avalanche triggered by the explosion and earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, releasing 24 megatons of thermal energy. It reduced the mountains summit from 9,677 to 8,365 feet, leaving a one mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater, becoming one of the most deadliest and economically destructive volcanic events in the history of the United States.

Mt. St. Helens eruption was classified as a VEI 5 event, the only significant such event to happen in the contiguous 48 United States since the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. Before 1980, the last eruption of St. Helens was 130 years ago. Continue reading