Mount St. Helens Rebirth {Photo of the Day}

This utterly spectacular image was acquired by Landsat 7 and provided courtesy of NASA, showing Mount St. Helens. The image was actually taken on August 22, 1999, nearly 20 years after Mount St. Helens exploded, killing few but causing billions of property damage.

The image is a true colour image, and shows a great deal of variety in what can be seen. The northern and eastern flanks of Mount St. Helens are still suffering from the explosion, the barren flanks shown in shades of white and gray, specifically the all-gray area immediately to the north-west.

The crater is at the center of the image, naturally, and streaking away from the crater represents the remnants of pyroclastic flows (superheated avalanches of gas, ash and pieces of rock) that carved deep channels down the slopes of the mountain.

Around the Mount itself, however, the rejuvenation process can be clearly seen in a variety of greens, thanks to the ash deposits from the explosion which dumped minerals which have themselves accelerated vegetation growth.

Source: NASA Goddard

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