Plinian column of ash, hot gases & pulverised rock

Plinian column of ash, hot gases & pulverised rock

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This image is part of the feature Hazardous Earth

Credit: PROF. STEWART LOWTHER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plinian column of ash, hot gases & pulverised rock shooting out of Mt. St. Helens volcano, Washington State, USA, during the second eruption on the 22nd July 1980, two months after the major blast of May 18th. Visible at the top of this photograph is a mushroom cloud which occurs as the original column looses energy & rolls outwards on all fronts. The overflow from this vertical eruption causes many avalanches of incandescent rock to cascade down the mountain side, a phenomenon known as pyroclatic flow. Mt. St. Helens forms part of the Cascade Range which runs from southern British Colombia, Canada, to northern California, USA.

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Keywords: eruption, geology, mount st helens, plinian column, pyroclastic flow, volcano

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