Mt St Helens & Montserrat volcanoes

Souffrire Hills eruption

Year 9: week beginning 11 December 2017

Mount St Helens 1980 and how the knowledge gained by scientists was used to save lives in the Monsterrat eruptions in the 1990s

The case of the Montserrat volcano is a good example for studying the human consequences of tectonic hazards.

The homework activity is to write up your notes from the video and explain what the Mount St Helens eruption taught scientists about this type of volcano.  How was this knowledge used to make a correct assessment of the Souffrire Hills volcano in Montserrat and save lives?  Write as much detail as you can about what scientists saw and how they made their assessment.  What action was taken in Montserrat?

Video shows the way scientists advised the people of Montserrat: it is towards the end.  40 minutes into the film a vulcanologist explains that – prior to the 1980s – volcano science was quite young.  Mainly due to the study of Mt St Helens, knowledge was vastly increased in that time.

The focus for the last part of the video is the eruption of Souffrire Hills volcano in Montserrat.


1. the video


2. Extra materials:

These short videos show the ways in which human life was disrupted in short and long-term on the island of Montserrat:

These films shows continuing volcanic activity in September 2009 and 2010:

3. Factsheet:

4. Do your own search:

Use keywords Montserrat, Plymouth, Souffrire Hills, evacuation, 1997 etc.




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