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Vegetation recovery at Mt. St. Helens

Landsat captures the recovery of the forest around Mt. St. Helens as vegetation moves in from the margins of the blast zone.  


What do the colors mean?  In this false-color composite, denser forest appears green and open soil appears light pink.  Sparse forests contain a mix of trees, shrubs, dead branches, and soil, and thus appear as a mixture of greens, browns, and pinks depending on the amount of each.  Elevations above treeline appear bright pink and aqua, as does the ash and exposed rock after the eruption. Clearcuts also appear pink because they remove most vegetation, exposing bright soil that slowly fades back to green as vegetation grows back.



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