How Can One Volcano Change the World?
ESU301  Post-Eruption Astronaut View

A shuttle astronaut took this image of Mount Pinatubo four months after the eruption. The light-colored lines radiating from the summit are not rivers of lava—they show where lahars, mudflows of volcanic ash, flowed downhill after heavy rains.

  !   Examine the image and look for changes caused by the eruption. Scroll your cursor over the image to reveal labels for features related to the eruption.

Notice the lahars and look for a new lake in the lower left of the image. The lake formed after volcanic debris dammed a stream. Look for straight lines along the lahar in the lower left. Humans built these long lines of rocks and soil in an attempt to keep lahars from covering farmland and towns to the south. Also, look for a short straight line near the center of the right side of the photograph. This line is the runway of Clark Airbase, a former U.S. Air Force Base that was closed earlier than had been planned after the eruption occurred.



  !   Click the Pre-eruption view button to compare this image to the BEFORE image you examined earlier. Click the Oblique view button to examine a different view of the area AFTER the eruption.

Instead of looking straight down on the area, the oblique view image was taken at an angle, pointing toward the horizon. The camera was facing west and south from the space shuttle. Look for the same features described above. Move your cursor over them to reveal labels.

4. How did the eruption change interactions among Earth's spheres? Describe how processes you listed in #2 and #3 changed as a result of the eruption.

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