Another View of Mt. St. Helens

October 28, 2002

Sthelenssky copy

Provided by: Frederick Marlowe
Summary authors & editors: Frederick Marlowe

The above photo was taken from a Cessna aircraft on 29 March 1987, and shows a view of snow covered Mt. St. Helens almost 7 years after the momentous eruption of 18 May 1980. From the volcano's crater, sulfurous plumes could still be seen venting from the expanding lava dome, and once near the crater, the pungent smell of sulfur saturated the cockpit. To give some perspective, the crater's diameter is one mile (1.6 km), our altitude was approximately 8,000 feet (2.5 km), and the lava dome was about the size of a large, 4-story house. At the mountain's base, the remnant of Spirit Lake was half-filled with huge logs, felled by the shockwave from the eruption and propelled into the lake by devastating mudslides. From the altitude the photo was taken, these logs looked like toothpicks. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for May 17, 2002 and July 23, 2002.

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