Volcano Observatory Re-Opens With New Exhibits

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. –The Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens is reopening for the season this weekend. That's just in time for the 30th anniversary of the volcano's epic blast. The visitor center re-opens with new short films and exhibits.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is the closest visitor center to the crater of Mount St. Helens. This spring, highway crews plowed away snow to allow contractors to get in early to freshen up the displays. Monument scientist Peter Frenzen wanted the exhibit material to reflect technological advances in volcano monitoring.

Peter Frenzen:“We're going to have the paper drum seismograph which started being used around the country in the 1950's right side-by-side with one of the new modern digital screens. So you'll be able to jump up and down and make your own earthquakes and see them recorded both on the paper drum and on the new digital technology.”

Frenzen says about a third of the visitor center got a makeover. An injection of federal economic stimulus money allowed more extensive updating than originally planned.

Web extras:

Mount St. Helens eruption 30th anniversary events: