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Mount St. Helens Flyover
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
This Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)
image of Mt. St. Helens volcano in Washington State was acquired on
August 8, 2000 and covers an area of 37 by 51 km. Mount Saint Helens, a
volcano in the Cascade Range of southwestern Washington that had been
dormant since 1857, began to show signs of renewed activity in early
1980. On 18 May 1980, it erupted with such violence that the top of the
mountain was blown off, spewing a cloud of ash and gases that rose to an
altitude of 19 kilometers. The blast killed about 60 people and
destroyed all life in an area of some 180 square kilometers (some 70
square miles), while a much larger area was covered with ash and debris.
It continues to spit forth ash and steam intermittently. As a result of
the eruption, the mountain's elevation decreased from 2,950 meters to
The simulated fly-over was produced by draping ASTER
visible and near infrared image data over a digital topography model,
created from ASTERs 3-D stereo bands. The color was computer enhanced
to create a natural color image, where the vegetation appears green.
The topography has been exaggerated 2 times to enhance the appearance of