US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in GEOLOGY, v. 13, p. 348-352, May 1985.


Sediment collected in traps in a newly formed lake in the blast-impact area at Mount St. Helens recorded a sediment yield that is about two orders of magnitude greater than for comparable basins with vegetation and similar precipitation. Most sediment was mobilized by storms and run off at the onset of the wet season. The sedimentation response to strongly seasonal precipitation, in the absence of vegetation, produced turbidites and graded annual couplets. The style of sedimentation suggests an alternate mechanism for the formation of long sequences of graded clastic varves.