Mt. St. Helens Recovery and Arc
August 13, 2004
This photo was taken on July 19, 2004 just west of the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington state. The view looks south into the gaping horseshoe-shaped crater of Mount St. Helens, which was created by the stratovolcano's catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980. Located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was established in 1982 with the goal of allowing a natural recovery with little human interference inside the blast zone immediately surrounding the volcano. This has provided scientists a unique opportunity to monitor the gradual recovery of nature and ecological systems following such a cataclysm.
Note the comely circumhorizontal arc, which nicely accents St. Helen's crater, adding a little panache to this rather barren landscape. For more about circumhorizontal arcs, see the "Earth Science Picture of the Day" for the prior two days.