Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Visit to the Mount St. Helens Volcano

I returned to see the Mount St. Helens volcano after last visiting the area in the mid 1990's. The mountain peak was shrouded in clouds for most of the day, but suddenly the sun came out the clouds parted enough to see what's left of the top of the mountain. Most of it was blown off during the eruption of May 18, 1980.

The second photo shows Spirit Lake which amazingly still has thousands of trees clogging its north end. The light colored mass you see in the water are all logs. Those trees were blown into the lake during the eruption.

The third photo is what the mountain looks like from the theater at the Johnston Ridge Observatory which is about six miles from the volcano.

The fourth photo tells the story of the millions of board feet of lumber that were blown to bits during the 1980 eruption. 31 years later, some of those dead trees are still on the ground but new growth is evident in the areas surrounding the mass devastation.

The last photo before the video shows is what happens to a tree when a super-heated volcano blast hits it. The background use to be full of thousands of trees. But as you can see, it's still a pretty bare landscape close to the mountain.

Here's a short video of my helicopter flight to see the still active lava dome at Mount St. Helens. It's hard to see, but there was steam coming out of its top.

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