Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mt. St. Helens in the background. Beautiful volcanic park in WA. Made famous by the massive 1980 eruption. Still active; in fact, there was a minor eruption just last Tuesday (even dad said he read about it in the papers in Malaysia). There is a live volcano-cam here if you wanna see if you're lucky enough to see another eruption.

In this picture, you can see the massive crater left behind when she blew her top. Cleared out a massive area. Still looks pretty barren now.

A close-up of the crater.
At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River.The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing.

The green lake was previously a creek, until the blast caused a massive landslide that turned the creek (river) into a lake. On the hill beside the lake (inset) you can make out the trees that were snapped away in the direction of the blast, like toothpicks. And this, several miles out from the actual eruption!


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