Prior to the 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens formed a conical, youthful volcano sometimes called the Fuji-san of America. During the 1980 eruption the upper 400 m of the summit was removed by collapse of the slope, that left a 2 x 3.5 km horseshoe-shaped crater now partially filled by a lava dome. Mount St. Helens is a very young volcano and only about 40-50,000 years old.
It has been the most active volcano in the Cascade Range during the past 10,000 years, and the modern edifice was constructed during the last 2,200 years, when the volcano produced basaltic as well as andesitic and dacitic products from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions in the 19th century were witnessed by early settlers.