STS047-073-056 Mount Saint Helens Volcano, Washington, U.S.A. September 1992
The 230-square-mile (596-square-kilometer) blast zone from the eruption of Mount Saint Helens Volcano in May 1980 can be seen in this northwest-looking, low-oblique photograph. The former 9660-foot (2946-meter) volcanic mountain, part of the "Pacific Rim of Fire" that surrounds the Pacific Ocean Basin, lost 1300 feet (305 meters) as a result of the eruption. Hot ash and pumice, near-hurricane-force winds, and searing heat destroyed forest lands, wildlife, and human life in the blast zone. The photograph shows steam rising from the 1700-foot (518-meter) dome being built in the crater of the volcano. Tan ash and mud flows are still visible in the Toutle River Valley, which extends to the west of the volcano. Northwest of the volcano are the blue waters of Riffe Lake. Some clear-cut patterns are interspersed throughout the dark green Gifford Pinchot National Forest. (Refer to photographs STS-028-088-026 and STS-064-051-025 for more information about Mount Saint Helens Volcano.)
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