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A strong eruption can consist of violent explosions that send great clouds of gas-laden debris into the atmosphere, or may consist of explosions that blast sideways from a collapsed portion of the volcano, as happened in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Eruptions can alter the land and water locally through lava flows, lahars, pyroclastic flows, and landslides.
The familiar snow-clad peaks of the Cascade Range are part of a 1,300 km (800 mi) chain of volcanoes, which extends from northern California to southern British Columbia.
The volcanoes are the result of the slow slide of dense oceanic crust as it sinks beneath North America (subduction), which releases water and melts overlying rock.
The Bear Gulch Limestone (Mississippian of Montana) is what is known as a lagerstätte, a well-bedded sequence of limestone layers containing an extremely well-preserved assemblage of fossils.
This deposit has yielded one of the most diverse and well preserved fossil fish assemblages in the world.
Context This lesson was developed by the Challenger Center as part of NASA's MESSENGER Mission, of which Science Net Links is a partner.