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

There wasn't even a lake to start with.

mount pinatubo
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

(SPOT.ph) 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. And with Google Earth's new Timelapse feature, you can now see how Pinatubo Lake looked before there was even a lake.

Mount Pinatubo

mount pinatubo
1984. Before the eruption, Mount Pinatubo's summit was at 1,745 meters above sea level.
PHOTO BY Google Earth
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
mount pinatubo
1991. The former summit of the volcano completely collapsed and was replaced by a nearly circular caldera. 
PHOTO BY Google Earth
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano straddling the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It was pretty chill, at least until 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.

mount pinatubo
PHOTO BY Shutterstock
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
mount pinatubo
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

This 2.5-kilometer wide caldera eventually filled with water coming from spring discharge from its walls, mountain runoff, and rainwater; it's now what we know as Pinatubo Lake—a tourist attraction that features hiking and 4x4 rides.

mount pinatubo
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. This lahar runoff was seen for years. 
PHOTO BY Google Earth
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
mount pinatubo
2000. The mountain eventually got some its verdant surroundings back.
PHOTO BY Google Earth
mount pinatubo
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.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Hot Stories You Might Have Missed

Hey, Spotters! Check us out on Viber to join our Community and subscribe to our Chatbot.

We are now on Quento! Download the app on Google Play or App Store and enjoy more articles and videos from SPOT.ph and other Summit Media websites.

Share this story with your friends!

Help us make Spot.ph better!
Take the short survey

Read more stories about

Latest Stories

Load More Stories