Guide to the Ronald K. Sorem Mt. St. Helens Projects Papers 1980-1990
Cage 669

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Sorem, Ronald K.
Title
Ronald K. Sorem Mt. St. Helens Projects Papers
ID
Cage 669
Date [inclusive]
1980-1990
Extent
2.0 containers.
General Physical Description note
1.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Language
English
Abstract
Collection contains research studies, publications, and texts of public presentations of the effects of volcanic ash from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 669, Ronald K. Sorem Mt. St. Helens Projects Papers . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Ronald Keith Sorem was born in 1924. He received his B.A. in Geology in 1946 and his M.S. in 1948 from the University of Minnesota. In 1952 he began working for the U.S. Geological Service as a geologist and finished his Ph.D. in Wisconsin in 1958. He was hired in 1959 by Washington State University in the Geology Department and in 1980 became the Division of Sciences half-time Associate Dean. Sorem taught graduate courses in Ore Microscopy and X-ray analysis in addition to his own research, which focused primarily on the study of the mineralogy of marine manganese nodules. However after the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, Sorem became a regional "ash specialist." Interested in scientific and medical information about the ash, the WSU Council of Deans requested on May 20, 1980 the formation of the WSU Volcanic Ash Study Committee, on which Sorem served as the panel geologist. The conclusions reached by this committee were presented in an hour-long local public television program aired on May 23.

Sorem proposed a continuation of this committee for a more systematic study of volcanic ash. The committee created was named BASHCOM-WSU (Bustad Ash Study and Health Committee, Washington State University). Soon after studies began, a controversy arose over varying laboratory calculations of the level of crystalline silica, which if inhaled frequently could cause the respiratory disease, silicosis, existent in the Mt. St. Helens ash. Sorem and Washington State University became well-known in the scientific community for their "free-silica" stance on the issue, claiming very minimal and unharmful levels of silica in the ash, which directly challenged the much higher silica findings by the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). This dispute was presented in Analytic Chemistry in September and October 1980 and again in March 1986 in the American Journal of Public Health, following an attempt to solve the scientific discrepancies. Sorem was one of the leading spokespersons and researchers on the silica issue and also published his own conclusions on the physical structure of the Mt St. Helens ash, known as ash clusters, as well as the effects on the Pullman, WA area. He presented this information to several conferences held at WSU, the Committee Technical Conference in Nov. 1980 sponsored by FEMA and NSF in Washington D.C., and to the International Geological Congress in Paris. In 1982 his article "Volcanic Ash Cluster: Tephra Rafts and Scavengers" was published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

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Arrangement note

The files of Ronald K. Sorem are arranged according to their original order when received by Washington State University. Generally, there are eight distinguishable sequences of papers: Ash-Minerals, Ash Clusters, May 1990 Review of 1980 Ashfall in Pullman Area, 1986 American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) Dollberg Publication, Ash Information, CASSIDY Aftermath Conference, Ash Effects and files relating to the effects of Mt. St. Helens on the Pullman, WA area.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1999

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers of Ronald K. Sorem were given to Washington State University Library by Mr. Sorem in 1994, accession #MS94-42.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Washington State University--Faculty -- Archives

Geographic Name(s)

  • Saint Helens, Mount (Wash.)--Eruption, 1980 -- Environmental aspects--Archives

Personal Name(s)

  • Dollberg, Donald D., 1944-
  • Sorem, Ronald Keith, 1924- --Archives

Subject(s)

  • Andosols -- Washington (State)--Saint Helens, Mount--Research--Archives
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Science
  • Silicosis -- Research--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Volcanic ash, tuff, etc.--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Pullman -- Archives
  • Volcanic hazard analysis--Washington (State)--Saint Helens, Mount--Research -- Archives
  • Volcanoes -- Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Saint Helens, Mount -- Archives
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Box-folder

Ash Minerals, Center for Disease Control Publication, Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica 

1 / 1

Lions Talk [Notes and information used for a speech given to the Coeur d'Alene Lions Club, titled Northwest Volcanic Activity- Past, Present and Future.] Feb. 16, 1981 

1 / 2

Ash Clusters, Scanning Electron Microscopy Photos (Spokane Samples) May 1980 

1 / 3

Clusters, Journal of Volcanology, Ash Manuscript, Figures, Prints and Negatives 

1 / 4

Ash Clusters, Journal of Volcanology, Ash Manuscript Revised 

1 / 5

Ash-Minerals, Related Correspondence [Letter calls the attention of the science community to newly found ash analysis.], Letter from 6-9-1980. June 9, 1980 

1 / 6

Ash - Large Ash Samples Donated. Note from 5/17/1982. May 17, 1982. 

1 / 7

Ash - Clippings, 1981- 

1 / 8

Symposium, Cheney [Includes notes, brochures, articles, address lists, and the article After Mount St. Helens: Seven Gray Days in May, by Don Dillman.] 1981 

1 / 9

Ash Work Comments - Glenn Terrell, Post [letter] May 18, 1980 

1 / 10

Eruption, Science [Article titled Mount St. Helens: An Unpredictable Foe], June 27, 1980 

1 / 11

Health Reports, Jack Conway [Memorandum from Conway, and article by the Dept. of Health Services.], June 24, 1980 

1 / 12

Ash-Minerals, Ash Comments [Memorandum and newspaper articles] 

1 / 13

Ash-Minerals, Ash Work Comments - Leo Bustad, Post [letter and newspaper articles] 18 May 1980 

1 / 14

Ash-Minerals, Miscellaneous News Clips, Post 18 May 1980 

1 / 15

Ash-Minerals, Ash Reports 1980 

1 / 16

Ash-Minerals, Division of Geology Ash Map, Report of Investigation #24 (Moen and McLucas) 

1 / 17

Ash-Minerals, Analytical Chemistry. Entire publication from Sept. 1980. Sept. 1980 

1 / 18

Ash-Minerals, Ash Conference [Title: Some Geological Aspect of the Ash Fallout in Pullman and Vicinity by R.K. Sorem], Abstract July 8, 1980 

1 / 19

Ash-Minerals, Ash Reprints (of others) [Offprint from Science titled, Composition of the Mount St. Helens Ashfall in the Moscow-Pullman Area on 18 May 1980 by P.R. Hooper et al. 5 Sept. 1980. Also copied article from Science 20 Feb. 1981. 

1 / 20

Ash-Minerals, Analytical Chemistry [Copy of article entitled Scientists Still Split over Silica in Ash.] October 1980 

1 / 21

Ash-Minerals, Analytical Chemistry [Copy of article entitled Controversy Erupts over Mt. St. Helens Ash.] Sept. 1980 

1 / 22

Ash-Minerals, Geballe & Other Letters, etc. 

1 / 23

Ash Minerals, Ash Clusters [B/W magnified photos] 

1 / 24

Ash Minerals, Benson, Williams (National Academy of Sciences) correspondence 1980 

1 / 25

St. Helens Information for Taxpayers 

1 / 26

Ash Clusters, Daily News 1990 Mt. St. Helens Issue Contribution from Ronald K. Sorem, May 14, 1990. 

1 / 27

Ash Clusters, Ash Samples to Others [correspondence and notes] 1990 

1 / 28

Ash Clusters, Ash Cluster Reprint sent on Request [Written requests] 

1 / 29

Ash Clusters, Journal of Volcanology Ash Manuscript, Correspondence and File Copy 

1 / 30

Ash Clusters, Ash Cluster Manuscript Reviews [Review by the editors of Science.] 

1 / 31

Ash Clusters, Copy of Corrections for Volcanic Ash Clusters: Tephra Rafts and Scavengers 

1 / 32

Ash Clusters, International Geological Congress-1980-Ronald K. Sorem Abstract (Ash) [International Geological Congress, Paris abstract entitled "Distant Effects of Mount St. Helens Volcanic Ash] 

1 / 33

Review of 1980 Ashfall in Pullman Area, General 1980 Eruption file, 1990 Section. May 1990 

1 / 34

Review of 1980 Ashfall in Pullman Area, Review Notes for Ash Letter to Daily News, May 1990 [summaries, etc.]. May 1990 

1 / 35

Review of 1980 Ashfall in Pullman Area, Ash in Pullman Photos. May 1990 

1 / 36

Review of 1980 Ashfall in Pullman Area, Ash in Pullman Xerox Photos and Tables, etc. May 1990 

1 / 37

WSU- 1986 Reaction to Ronald K. Sorem on Dollberg et al. and Aftermath 

1 / 38

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication and Aftermath, 1986 Dollberg Aftermath [correspondence, notes, articles] 

1 / 39

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication and Aftermath, Dollberg et al.[Xerox copies], 1986 

1 / 40

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication and Aftermath, Stimson-WSU [Information and tips sent to Bill Stimson in March of 1986 from R. Sorem regarding a news story to be written about Mt.St.Helens Ash in Pullman]. March, 1986 

1 / 41

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication and Aftermath, Yankauer, Merchant, Dollberg Correspondence 1986 

1 / 42

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Notes on Dollberg et al. Leading to letters of 3-31-1986. March 31, 1986. 

1 / 43

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Leo Bustad [correspondence and newspaper articles on Bustad] 

1 / 44

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Review of Ash Controversy March 1986 

1 / 45

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Biological Effects of Volcanic Ash Monograph - American Journal of Public Health Miscellaneous Information 

1 / 46

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Miscellaneous National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Letters and Replies 

1 / 47

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Round Robin Letters and Replies 

1 / 48

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, SiO2 Status Report Aug. 27, 1980 

1 / 49

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, Bustad Ash Study and Health Committee - Memo Copies, etc. 

1 / 50

1986 American Journal of Public Health Dollberg Publication, C.J. Nyman - Volcanic Ash 

1 / 51

Material Sent to Daily News, Photos, Maps, etc. 5/30/90 

1 / 52

Ash Info., Ash Letters, Spokesman Review 

1 / 53

Ash Info., Ash Analysis - Minerological Problem 

1 / 54

Ash Info., Ash TV Program [Memorandum and program tentative outline.] May 23, 1980 

1 / 55

Ash Info., Fallout TV Program [Program tentative outline.] 

1 / 56

Ash Info., Chris Bogan 

1 / 57

Ash Info., Lemont Report Dec. 1980 

1 / 58

Ash Info., Battelle News Items 

1 / 59

Ash Info., Battelle Manuscript [Title: Mount St. Helens Ash Characterization May 18, 1980, Eruption: Chemical, Physical, Mineralogical, and Biological Properties.] Aug. 1980 

1 / 60

Ash Info., Ash Correspondence - Miscellaneous 

1 / 61

Ash Info., International Geological Congress Abstract - Ash Talk 1980 

1 / 62

Ash Info., American Society of Plant Physiologists Ash Symposium - Aug. 1980 

1 / 63

Ash Info., American Society of Plant Physiologists Meeting, Aug. 6, 1980 

1 / 64

Volcanic Ash Notes, Meetings, Telephone Calls, etc. [Small binder of Sorem's notes as well as phone and address lists of "ash contacts."] 

1 / 65

Evergreen Interviews - Sept. 8, 1980 

1 / 66

Ash Display Material 1981 

1 / 67

Ash TV Interview - May 7, 1981 

1 / 68

Ash Cluster, Manuscripts, Letters, etc. 

1 / 69

Early Notes on May 18, 1980 Ash Fall 

1 / 70

Pullman Ash Debate, X-ray and Sample Data 

1 / 71

Slides, X-Ray Films, Eruption Aftermath - May 18, 1980 

1 / 72

Chronical of Higher Education Ash Report - June 2, 1980 

1 / 73

Pullman Ash Data 

1 / 74

Wayne Moen, Olympia [Transcript of a telephone call made on May 28, 1980 regarding ash minerology.] May 28, 1980 

1 / 75

Ash Minerology "White Paper" - June 16, 1980 

1 / 76

Quinn and Folsom - Ash Maps 

1 / 77

CASSIDY Aftermath Conference, Ash Aftermath Conference Proceedings, WSU, July 8-9, 1980 

1 / 78

CASSIDY Aftermath Conference, Final Report - Geological Discussion Group 

1 / 79

CASSIDY Aftermath Conference, Conference Folder Contents 

1 / 80

CASSIDY Aftermath Conference, Ronald K. Sorem "Aftermath" Talk 

1 / 81

1982 Cluster Project with Sigurdson and Carey 

1 / 82

Ash Effects, USGS Volcano Reports 

2 / 1

Ash Effects, Ray Wilcox Article [Title Some Effects of Recent Volcanic Ash Falls With Especial Reference to Alaska.] 

2 / 2

Ash Effects, Lovelace - Eidson 

2 / 3

Ash Effects, Silica Minerals, Plagioclase, Ash Background Information 

2 / 4

Ash Effects, U.W. Airborne Studies - St. Helens [Title: A Preliminary Report of Airborne Studies by the University of Washington of the Effluents from the Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Eruptions, June 12, 1980.] 

2 / 5

Ash Effects, Fruchter et al. Report [Title: Mount St. Helens Ash Characterization May 18, 1980 Eruption: Chemical, Physical, Mineralogical and Biological Properties.]. 1980 

2 / 6

Ash Effects, R. J. Cook et al. Manuscript [From Science, Impact on Agriculture of the Mount St. Helens Eruption, Jan. 2, 1980.] Jan. 2, 1980 

2 / 7

Ash Effects, Silicates and Silica Separation - Size Separation by Settling 

2 / 8

Ash Effects, Silicon - Geochemistry, Health [Article written by Howard C. Hopps et al. entitled "Silicon" published in Vol. II of Geochemistry and the Environment.] 

2 / 9

Ash Effects, Facilities and Ash Problems 

2 / 10

Ash Effects, Steve Young - Astroturf and Ash 

2 / 11

Ash Effects, Ash and Agriculture Aug. 1980 

2 / 12