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Satellite Photos Show Pinatubo Lake's Formation After the 1991 Eruption

There wasn't even a lake to start with.
IMAGE GOOGLE EARTH
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Nature never fails to amaze us. Coasts can be reshaped by typhoons, underwater caves and rivers can form below ground, and islands can be born from a volcanic eruption. In Zambales, the beautiful Pinatubo Lake, one of the area's most popular tourist attractions, was formed after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 15, 1991.

With Google Earth's new Timelapse feature, you can now see how Pinatubo Lake looked before there was even a lake.

Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK.

1984: Before the eruption, Mount Pinatubo's summit was at 1,745 meters above sea level.

Photo by GOOGLE EARTH.
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1991: The former summit of the volcano completely collapsed and was replaced by a nearly circular caldera.

Photo by GOOGLE EARTH.

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano straddling the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga.

Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK.

It was pretty chill, at least until the week-long activity that eventually led to the nine-hour eruption. The volcanic activity was so massive that it permanently changed the topography in that area, including the collapse of the stratovolcano inward and into the depleted magma chamber underground. This 2.5-kilometer wide caldera eventually filled with water coming from spring discharge from its walls, mountain runoff, and rainwater.

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It's now what we know as Pinatubo Lake—a tourist attraction that features hiking and 4x4 rides.

Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK.

1995: Since the 1991 eruption happened in the middle of a typhoon, ash mixed with rainwater (lahar) moved rapidly down valleys like rivers of concrete.

Photo by GOOGLE EARTH.

2000: The mountain eventually got some its verdant surroundings back.

Photo by GOOGLE EARTH.
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2020: The Pinatubo Lake that we know today is a tourist attraction that's perfect for hiking and 4x4 rides.

Photo by GOOGLE EARTH.

Google Earth's update lets users scan through satellite photos of a specific area year-on-year starting from 1984. It was compiled through 24 million satellite photos that were stitched together into one interactive 4D experience.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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