PROF. STEWART LOWTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. STEWART LOWTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eruption of Mt. St. Helens volcano on 18th May 1980. The initial blast was horizontal, blowing the northern flank outwards. This was immediately followed by a vertical explosion which surged upwards, twelve miles into the atmosphere. The overflow from this vertical eruption or Plinian column, consisting of ash, gas & pulverised rock, can be seen in this photograph spilling over the rim of the crater and flowing down the mountainside - pyroclastic flow. Mt. St. Helens forms part of the Cascade Range which runs from southern British Columbia, Canada, to northern California, USA.
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