One Cubic Mile

The Cascade Mountains are a series of volcanoes located here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our family last week took a trip up to see Mt. St. Helens up close.  30 years ago Mt. St. Helens had a famous explosive eruption.

The top of the mountain was literally blown off and slid down the valley at a very high speed.  This was followed by a massive eruption which sent hot ash flying everywhere.

Look at the image above.  How much rock do you think was blown off?  The actual amount was 1 cubic mile.  Think about that.  The rock would have filled a box 1 mile wide, 1 mile deep, and 1 mile high.

Virtually everything in its path was destroyed.  Above you can see many trees that were blown over by the eruption.  As you can also see, the trees are starting to grow back.

This is a closeup of the crater.  The bulge in the middle is a new lava dome that formed shortly after the eruption.  Over time, the lava dome will likely continue to get bigger.  So, just as life around the mountain is slowly returning as time goes by, so is the mountain itself.

  1. I was living in Montana when Mt. St. Helen’s blew her top and we were covered in volcanic ash for two days! It was eerie, scary and unbelievable! These are terrific captures! I just hope she doesn’t do it again since I now live in Seattle! Happy SWF! Hope you have a great weekend!


    1. Although you can take a helicopter ride into the volcano, these photos were taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory. It is named after a scientist who died in the eruption.

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