Then And Now: The Shocking Aftermath Of The Largest Volcanic Eruption In U.S. History

Before Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, the day before the eruption. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Prior to 1980, a dense forest covered the land around Washington’s Mount St. Helens, supporting a thriving ecosystem and a small logging village. But what looked, to the untrained eye, like a peaceful and innocent mountain was actually a volcano sitting directly on top of the notorious Pacific Ring of Fire.

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Mount Nyiragongo And Its Bubbling Hot Lava Lake

Crater of Mount Nyiragongo

Source: GCSE Wiki

Few volcanoes are as spectacular as Mount Nyiragongo. Known for its active lava lake and (relatively) frequent eruptions, this incredible volcano has the potential for widespread disaster. Unfortunately, political unrest prevents the scientific community from studying the dangerous volcano in depth. But as seen in these breathtaking images, scientists and photographers have still been able to capture the bubbling, fiery lava that churns within the mountain’s lava lake.

Lava Up Close

Source: Boston.com

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Iceland’s Breathtaking Volcanic Rivers

When it comes to size, Iceland is roughly the size of Ohio, but within that relatively humble space are hundreds of volcanoes; so many that in the last 500 years, Iceland alone has been responsible for 30 percent of the world’s lava flow. Pair this with glaciers that also populate the landscape, and you have the perfect storm of natural occurrences that make stunning aerial photographs like these possible.

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