|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
This picture was taken a few kilometers away from Mount St.Helens. You can feel, 25 years after, the total destruction caused by the 1980 eruption. At this place trees were covered with ashes and finally burned and/or died. If you look carefully on the picture there is a road crossing in the middle of the picture and on the left side of the picture there is a black truck on the road, helping you to add a dimension to this cataclism.
Mount St.Helens is an active stratovolcano in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle and 53 miles (85 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. The mountain is part of the Cascade Range and was initially known as Louwala-Clough which means "smoking or fire mountain" in the language of the Klickitats. It was named for British diplomat Lord St Helens who was a friend of George Vancouver, an explorer who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. It is the only active volcano in the Continental United States.
It is most famous for the catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980. That eruption was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed and 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways and 185 miles (300 km) of highway were destroyed. The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing its summit from 9,677 feet (2,950 m) to 8,364 feet (2,550 m) in elevation and replacing it with a mile-wide (1.5 km-wide) horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche from the 1980 eruption was up to 2.3 cubic kilometers (0.7 cubic miles)in volume, making it the largest in recorded history.
The eruption was preceded by a two-month-long series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the mountain which created a huge bulge and a fracture system on Mount St. Helens' north slope. An earthquake at 8:32 AM on May 18, 1980, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, suddenly exposing the partly molten, gas- and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure.
A volcanic ash column rose high into the atmosphere and deposited ash in eleven U.S. States. At the same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the mountain melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day only to be followed by other large but not as destructive eruptions later in 1980. By the time the ash settled, 57 people (including innkeeper Harry Truman and geologist David A. Johnston) and thousands of animals were dead, hundreds of square miles (miČ) reduced to wasteland, and the once-graceful face of Mount St. Helens was scarred with a huge crater open to the north. The area was later preserved, as it was, in the Mount St.Helens National Volcanic Monument.
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