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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Re-Greening Mount St. Helens

Author: Guest Writer/Sunday, May 20, 2012/Categories: Uncategorized

Landsat is an Earth observation program operated by NASA and the USGS. Over 22 years, the satellite acquired images as it passed over Mount St. Helen since the volcano exploded in 1979. Everything in the path of the eruption was destroyed, buried, or burned to dust by the pyroclastic flows of the massive explosion.

Using animation to combine and synchronize the captured Landsat images gave unprecedented opportunity to witness how life has recovered from the devastation. The time-lapse animation shows the recovery of coniferous forest cover from 1979 to 2011. Vegetation appears red as seen in Landsat’s infrared light filers as early versions of these environmental monitoring satellites couldn't image in blue or visible light. With the launch of Landsat 5 in 1984, natural colors could be captured. The re-greening of Mount St. Helen has been impressive.

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Mount St. Helen Forest Recovery, 1979-2011 (credit: NASA)

It is said that “time heals all” and watching the NASA video shows the truth in the old aphorism.



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