The bad news is, y’all don’t get to play extraterrestrial geologists anymore. The good news is, I could dispense with the playacting because events on the volcano have become intense. Go find out how the 1980 eruptions began.
And check out these before-and-after photos I found, but didn’t use in the Rosetta Stones post. The difference is just a bit dramatic.
Here’s the summit on March 24th:
Oblique aerial photographs of the Mount St. Helens summit area showing historic thermal areas. Distance from False Summit to summit about 600 m. Viewed from north, thermal area A, near The Boot, is covered by snow, but its location corresponds to shallow dimple in snow surface. Photo by D. Frank. Skamania County, Washington. March 24, 1980. Portion of Figure 149-A, U.S. Geological Survey Professional paper 1250. Image courtesy USGS.
And on March 27th:
Oblique aerial photograph of summit of Mount St. Helens, looking south. Location of thermal area A indicated. Note that the new fractures cross ice and rock areas with no apparent change of style, indicating the fractures are deep seated. Photo by D. Frank. Skamania County, Washington. March 27, 1980. Portion of Figure 150, U.S. Geological Survey Professional paper 1250. Image courtesy USGS.