Find a
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Mt. St. Helens from Landsat: 1973 to 1992
These images show Mt. St. Helens almost a decade before the May 18, 1980, eruption, approximately three years after the eruption, then a pair of images over the following decade, as the landscape recovered. Notice in particular the area northwest of the mountain, past the Toutle River, where forest coverage has recovered somewhat in the past ten years. North is up in all these images. The 1973 Landsat 1 image used MSS bands 7, 5, and 4 (called MSS 4, 2, and 1 on the later Landsat satellites) displayed as red, green, and blue respectively. The other images mapped TM bands 4, 3, and 2 to red, green, and blue. This color combination is often referred to as false color infrared since it has a similar appearance and tone to color infrared photography. Reds represent vegetation (which is a strong reflector of near infrared light), greys are exposed land, and light blues show snow on the peaks of Mt. St. Helens and neighboring Mt. Adams. The Columbia River snakes into view in the lower left corner, just north of Portland, Oregon.
Intended for grade levels:
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Human geography
    • Physical geography
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
RealPlayer plug-in
QuickTime plug-in
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Please give credit to NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.
DLESE Catalog ID: NASA-SVS-000959
Related resources:
This resource has a thumbnail image at 'Mt. St. Helens, 1973 (pre-eruption)'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Jesse Allen
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio

Principal Investigator: Darrel Williams