Since 2010 we have been conducting research at Mount St. Helens to better understand how ecosystems respond to volcanic eruption:
- What happens to plants covered by ash and rock?
- We work in forests affected by the eruption! These tephra impacted sites are old-growth forests and adjacent clear-cuts that were dumped on with between 2-15 cm of ash and rock in 1980. Drs. Don Zobel (Oregon State University) and Joe Antos (University of Victoria) established plots right after the blast, and they have been measuring ever since. The long-term research plots have been measured and maintained since 1980 at a series of sites with different tephra depths. We have recently completed the 2020 site measurement. Contact Dr. Dylan Fischer for more on this project.
- Here is a great video from our 2020 research Fellow, Bryan Hall
- Dr. Dylan Fischer has also been working with Zobel and Antos to establish new projects examining soils (carbon, nitrogen) that have formed on top of the tephra deposits. Contact Dr. Dylan Fischer for more on this exciting new topic.
These are beautiful sites. Come out and see the mountain with us!