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Proceedings Paper

Mount St. Helens Quick Response Damage Assessment Using High-Altitude Infrared Photography
Author(s): Richard E. Hinkle; James C. Prill; John R. Pruitt
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Paper Abstract

After the destructive volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, there was a need for a quick response damage assessment. Timeliness of the information was emphasized because of the need to immediately devise land man-agement plans for timber sale operations, rehabilitation efforts, fire protection activities, and areas to be preserved. High-altitude color-infrared photography was collected during May and June by the National Aeronautics and Space Administra-tion (NASA) Ames Research Center (ARC). Interpretation of the photography plus a helicopter trip into the area provided the basis for the construction of 58 map-registered overlays within a 3-week period. These overlays depicted in detail the damage to timber resources, the transportation network, and the watershed. Using the 14 timber loss overlays, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service personnel were able to digitize cells depicting ownership, degree of damage, and the preeruption cover classes. These digitized data provided such informa-tion as the total area affected within and outside the national forest, total timber acreage destroyed and damaged, the sizes of timber destroyed, and the acreage of barren land both before and after the eruption. The hydrology and transportation overlays provided information for an alert system to locate areas needing in-depth studies. These problem areas were then studied in detail on low-altitude color photography so that potential erosion sites could receive preventive treatments and essential access roads needed for fire control and timber salvage could be repaired.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 November 1981
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0278, Electro-Optical Instrumentation for Resources Evaluation, (6 November 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.931924
Show Author Affiliations
Richard E. Hinkle, Lockheed Engineering and Management Services Company, Inc. (United States)
James C. Prill, Lockheed Engineering and Management Services Company, Inc. (United States)
John R. Pruitt, U.S. Department of Agriculture (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0278:
Electro-Optical Instrumentation for Resources Evaluation
Frederick J. Doyle, Editor(s)

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