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40 Years of Watching Mount St. Helens!

Prior to its 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens was the fifth-highest peak in Washington. NASA Goddard shared this video on Youtube!

It has been 40 years since Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, in southwestern Washington, near the Oregon border. Fifty-seven people lost their lives in the disaster, and huge swaths of the surrounding forest were levelled. Both before and after the eruption, Landsat satellites were taking regular observations of the area, and their data is being used to study how forests recover from a very large disturbance.

Sean Healey is a research ecologist with the Rocky Mountain Research Service, United State Forest Service. Along with his colleague Zhiqiang Yang, Sean has been studying the forests in the area to determine how the structure of the forest changes with disturbances. He is interesteed in knowing the changes in carbon stocks and the dynamics of forest recovery. Sean and Zhiqiang have used Landsat data to create predictions of the percent tree cover as the trees and other vegetation regrows.

Learn more!


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