Devastation and Recovery of Mt. St. Helens

  • Released Friday, September 1, 2017
  • Updated Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:31PM
  • ID: 30162

In the nearly four decades since the eruption (1980), Mt. St. Helens has given scientists an unprecedented opportunity to witness the steps through which life reclaims a devastated landscape. The scale of the eruption and the beginning of reclamation in the Mt. St. Helens blast zone are documented in this series of images between 1979 and 2017. The older images are false-color (vegetation is red). Not surprisingly, the first noticeable recovery (late 1980s) takes place in the northwestern quadrant of the blast zone, farthest from the volcano. It is another decade (late 1990s) before the terrain east of Spirit Lake is considerably greener. By the end of the series, the only area (beyond the slopes of the mountain itself) that remains conspicuously bare at the scale of these images is the Pumice Plain.
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Landsat images show recovery Mt. St. Helens blast zone, 1979 to 2017.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Landsat Band Combination 1, 2, 3 (Collected with the TM, ETM, ETM+ sensor)

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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