Spirit Lake

Thursday, 20th March 2008 by

Spirit Lake sits just North of America’s most famous active volcano, Mount St. Helens1.

The most catastrophic eruption of Mount St Helens was in May of 1980, which killed 57 people.

A side effect of this eruption was the largest landslide in recorded history when the north face of the mountain collapsed, knocking 400m off its official height in the process.

But I digress, this post is supposed to be about the lake! During the 1980 eruption thousands of trees which had covered the mountainside were ripped up and deposited in Spirit Lake. Today, almost 28 years later, they’re still there.

The Douglas Fir logs are slowly sinking to the bottom, but it’s a very slow process. Interestingly, the Google Earth image is clearly a composite of two different photographs, one of which must be more recent; across the seam you can see the tree carpet is there in the northern photo, but the majority of logs have sunk in the southern photo2.

More info on Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake on Wikipedia.

Thanks to Adrian.

  1. Mount St Helens was actually one of the first sights featured on Google Sightseeing, way back in April 2005. 

  2. Unfortunately there’s no way to date either photograph.