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  1. It is Sunday, May 18, 1980. The time, is 8:27 a.m. For fifty seven days, Mount St. Helens has been quaking, shaking, and belching. Her once pristine, snowy white Fujiyama-esque flanks are stained in hues of bluish grays and browns. Her north flank, once pristine and snow-capped, is a battered, bruised, bulging mass. Above the Sugar Bowl dome, an 850-foot-wide by 1,200-foot high scar is left behind by a collapsing slab of Leschi glacier, its cascading avalanche of ash and ice rockets over the Sugar Bowl dome and down the Forsyth glacier moraine in two lobes. That avalanche happened a week prior, the result of a 5.1 quake in the afternoon of May 12. It would become a "teaser" of impending apocalypse. For the next five minutes, the landscape will be peaceful, serene, and eerily quiet. It is the last five minutes this landscape will ever look like this. In fact, witnesses there the night before said it was too quiet, even the sounds of wildlife were hushed. +++ Over the course of the last week, I have been spending time working with a USGS aerial image of the peak, taken at 9 a.m. on May 17, and with the use of that aerial and two high-resolution orthophotos of Mount St. Helens's blast zone taken the first week of June, 1980, I have been synthesizing a digital ground overlay of Mount St. Helens to give it the look and appearance it had on that fateful Sunday in May before the cataclysmic eruption began. Details such as that debris avalanche scar above Sugar Bowl, the cracks in the bulge in the upper reaches of Forsyth, Loowit, Leschi, and Wishbone glaciers (all four would disappear, and become the source of devastating mudflows and lahars that afternoon), and the ashen gray slopes are faithfully recreated to within 95% accuracy. Reference material for this package also includes the famous sequence captured by geologists Keith and Dorothy Stoffel, who were in a Cessna aircraft above the peak when it exploded, and photographer Gary Rosenquist's famous landslide/lateral blast sequence captured from a log landing 8 and a half miles northeast of the peak. This has been a years-long dream of mine, which finally has come true. And I finally have the opportunity, very soon, to share that dream with the Flight sim community. The third of these images below, recreates a scene captured by USGS geologist Harry Glicken, who was to leave that observation post from which the real photo was taken the evening of May 17 (seen here: https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/mount-st-helens-may-17-1980-one-day-devastating-er). He would be replaced at 7 p.m. by geologist David Johnston. In a twist of ironic fate, Glicken, as he was departing for a post-doctorate speech he was to give in California on Monday, said to Johnston, "Perhaps it's best you're here instead of me. If I die here, nobody will remember me. If you die here, they'll name this ridge after you." The ridge to which the observation post known as Coldwater II was stationed, which in 1980 had the name of South Coldwater Ridge, would be renamed Johnston Ridge a year later. The last photo in this sequence of previews, recreates the first frame of the Rosenquist sequence.
  2. A huge amount of work has been done since the last update. As a word of caution, this post will be somewhat on the image heavy side. The first and most important part of the update has been the complete reestablishment of pre-1980 terrain elevation north and west of Mount St. Helens, for a distance of 21 miles downstream from Spirit Lake. This includes every mile of affected terrain which saw elevation changes brought forth due to the landslide deposits off of Mount St. Helens' collapsing north side. This was accomplished by producing a custom digital elevation model in-house using contour extraction from pre-eruption topographic maps. (see illustrations above for the detailed explanation of the processes involved) Secondly, I have been able to further refine and branch off from the development of this, and create and establish a custom digital elevation model recreating the bulge on Mount St. Helens' north flank as it appeared in late April and early-to-mid-May. This was accomplished by georeferencing a USGS topographic map of Mount St. Helens' north flank with the same 80-foot-interval contour data as the 15-minute topographic maps I am already using as reference material. This map, sourced from Figure 69 of Page 125 in USGS Professional Paper No. 1250, features adjusted contour elevations of the bulge and elevation changes in Mount St. Helens' north side. It also features the 700-foot-deep, 1,600-foot-long crater at the summit. To match this custom bulge DEM, I also sourced a high resolution infrared color photo of Mount St. Helens taken on May 2, 1980. The photo shows an ash-stained snowy peak with cracks in the north side. The image, once color corrected, was warped to match the projection of the existing terrain overlay. To add to the package, I recreated a smaller phreatic steam and ash eruption the likes of which occurred before the May 18, 1980 explosion. And now, for the captures. Pre-eruption elevation restoration of Spirit Lake. Looking SE towards Mount St. Helens. The clearcut in the foreground is a Weyerhaeuser transfer yard, and Highway 504 snakes up the valley. The ridge beyond, then known as South Coldwater Ridge, looms in the background. Today, that ridge is called Johnston Ridge. Looking north over the summit of Mount St. Helens, at the pre-eruption elevation of Spirit Lake. The entire coverage area of the DEM in question. Mount St. Helens on May 2, 1980. Note the bulge has distended the north flank, and cracks show up. For reference below, I've attached a photo taken by the U.S. Forest Service of the actual peak taken the same day. And lastly, shots illustrating a minor early May eruption.
  3. Unfortunately that was just a *.GIF that I had converted to a *.TIFF. Subsequently I was unable to georeference it to the coordinates I needed, and further to that I was unable to generate a DEM from it. I'd love to see the data you came across. As an update, since my last post in this thread I have made significant progress in recreating an entirely-new pre-eruption DEM of the peak. I will post screenshots and an update tomorrow morning.
  4. PROGRESS REPORT for November 10, 2021. What was thought to be impossible, has now become a reality. In the last few days, I have been immersing myself into the workings of Q-GIS, an open-source geospatial data processing suite similar to the ArcGIS software in use by professional mapping agencies, college geology courses, as well as the USGS. Additionally, I have also been exploring SAGA, another open-source geospatial data processing suite. Through a lengthy process of trial-and-error, and much experimentation (which can be seen here: https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/sbuilderx-sloping-ground-polygons.454002/#post-893586 ), I have successfully created a test file recreating Spirit Lake's pre-1980 elevation data and former lake shore. Additionally, this test also successfully eliminated the landslide deposit north of Mount St. Helens in an area immediately west of Spirit Lake itself. To achieve this I set forth on a test exercise in Q-GIS, by creating an ESRI SHP "shape file" data package. Then, I began an extremely tedious process of tracing every contour below elevation 3,600 feet (I started at the contour line denoting 3,520 feet), in area directly encompassing Spirit Lake to the north base of Mount St. Helens. This area also went west to just below the western end of present-day Johnston Ridge, at the boundary line for Cowlitz and Skamania Counties. As to how laborious this process is, this one test sample took seven hours. Six of those were spent doing the "hard" work - tracing those contours - by hand - using a mouse cursor placing a multiple series of lines to which elevation data had to be attached. After that, it was a trip over to SAGA GIS, where the contour data was then extrapolated into a working digital elevation model. However, since this file was not quite ready for Flight Simulator's Resample SDK application, it had to be imported back into Q-GIS. It is in Q-GIS, where "the fatty part" (e.g. the unusable data) was then trimmed to meet the test coverage area, and then subsequently exported out to a working GeoTIFF file for Resample to convert into a *.BGL scenery file. After some initial hiccups, the resulting test of this test file in Flight Simulator X was a resounding success. Initial tests of this file showed large plateaus and large ground spikes where the DEM met the clipped out areas. This was achieved by reworking the*.INF file to the following parameters: [Source] Type=GeoTIFF Layer=Elevation SourceDir="." SourceFile="test_BGL_SpiritLake4.tif" MinValidValue=755 NullCellValue=-32767 [Destination] DestDir="." DestBaseFileName="test_BGL_SpiritLake" DestFileType=BGL LOD=6,16 FractionBits=6 BaseValue=1000 The MinValidValue line denoted, in meters, the lowest elevation of the DEM. The NullCellValue is derived from a YouTube tutorial here: ([MEDIA=youtube]-PNoaGkbRQg[/MEDIA]) This tutorial was viewed as I was having issues eliminating the initial plateaus in the test DEM. The "MinValidValue" call in the BGL subsequently eliminated that. As this is a significant update (and a very important learning experience, I am posting in this update, a step-by-step illustration showing what was done. Photo captions below each illustration. Selecting the coverage area in Q-GIS. The underlying data are georeferenced GeoTIFFs of five USGS 15-minute quadrangles, with a contour interval of 80 feet. These were sourced from TopoView, a USGS public domain download portal. The traced contours in the test area. Importing of the traced contour SHP shapefile data into SAGA GIS. Selecting the interpolation parameters. For this I chose Multi-Level B-Spline, however the final exported DEM will be a TIN interpolation for greater accuracy and 3D display of the DEM. After a ten-minute wait (it takes this long to compile the DEM, at least for the test area selected), the DEM is now ready for further processing. At this point, it is unusable for Flight Simulator, and must be converted in Q-GIS to a georeferenced GeoTIFF. Importing the raw data back into Q-GIS. Note that unprocessed DEMS such as this need to be cleaned up for further use and display in GIS data applications, as well as Flight Simulator. For this, I drew a polygon on the outside edge of the extent of the outermost contour. This was selected because I felt it unnecessary to do the entire area, and I am only after the first five hundred feet above the pre-eruption shoreline. The final DEM, ready for export to Resample.exe. Testing in FSX. The shoreline elevation and surrounding hills are restored to their pre-1980 elevation. This view in FSX in fact now matches an aerial of Spirit Lake in my reference archive taken from roughly the same vantage. View to the NE and NW, overlooking the area of the Dave and Mariam Smith's Spirit Lake Lodge. Harry Truman's Mount St. Helens lodge is on the SW corner of Spirit Lake at far right in the first image. These ground spikes and the cliff behind them, illustrate the elevation changes between spring, 1980, and today. The Spirit Lake Lodge, sitting on the spike to the left, and a private cabin (based on photos of the real cabin), sitting on the spike to the right, were placed in the scenery on two AB Flatten polygons to eliminate display issue conflicts caused by the present-day elevation in that area. The cliff behind them, and the height of these spikes, are a direct illustration of the depth of the landslide deposits left behind by the collapsing north flank of Mount St. Helens in the May 18, 1980 eruption. It is in this spot that the landslide rode up and over the ridge, and then into the valley behind.[/URL] This cliff will be eliminated, and full ground data restored to pre-1980 eruption elevation.[/URL] For the next few months, I will be hard at work retracing all those contours, then compiling multiple test DEMs, to ensure this displays as accurate as possible.[/URL]
  5. A little update on the current status of this project. This one was a significant alpha testing milestone in the creation of pre-1980 terrain elevations north and west of Mount St. Helens. For the last few days I have been immersing myself into the workings of QGis - an open source geospatial data processing application very similar to the ArcGIS software professional mapping agencies and the USGS use, to create and author DEM and other forms of geospatial data. Yesterday, I began a series of tests on working with ESRI Shapefile data and creating test contour maps, then importing them in another open source geospatial data processing application known as SAGA. It is here, where I applied the elevation data in a TIN (triangulated interface network) format to create and compile a 3D model of those test contour maps. As a test of those learned skills, earlier this afternoon I decided to trace contours in a small area going up from Spirit Lake's pre-eruption elevation contour of 3,198 feet. For reference, today's lake elevation is 3,406 feet! The small area I chose was the dividing ridge between the east and west lobes of Spirit Lake. Once I selected the area in question, I then proceeded to trace every contour on one gridded section of that ridge in a 1958 topographic map, using a vector layer, with each contour assigned an elevation point corresponding to the 80-foot contour interval of the source reference map. (It was a PAIN IN THE TOOSHIE to do this, since I had to convert the numbers in feet, to meters every time!). After tracing the final contour in QGis, I then exported it as an ESRI Shapefile, then imported it into SAGA, to which I then did a triangulating extrapolation of that contour data into a working digital elevation model. That elevation model's dataset was then loaded back into QGis as a SAGA DEM file, and subsequently exported as a GeoTIFF DEM. Once a brief test was initiated in FSX, I was ASTOUNDED at the height difference between present-day Spirit Lake and the former shoreline in the test area. It shows up best at the lake shore (where I had placed an exclusion flatten of the lake to eliminate scenery artifiacting) on the dividing ridge, and where Harry Truman's resort is. Now the fun part begins... Tracing a word not allowed-ton of contour data, then extracting it into height map data, and then finally, off to the SIM. For the next month or so, I am going to be hard at work recreating this pre-1980 eruption terrain for both Flight Simulator, and potentially, for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. It will take approximately one month, as I have to trace each contour by hand using a mouse cursor. It will be extremely laborious work. Now for a few images showing the sequence of steps I followed, then a series of screenshots in FSX showing the change in topography. Captions are below each image Selecting the test area in QGis. The base image is a 15-minute USGS Quadrangle of Spirit Lake from 1958. It, and the four additional USGS 15-minute quadrangle maps I am using, all are from 1953 or 1958, and to date are the highest resolution pre-eruption contour maps of Mount St. Helens and the surrounding area. Contours finalized, and ready for export. One contour was missed in this, but I was told by an expert in geospatial data processing that missing one contour in a quadrangle in which contour line divisions are 80 feet, really doesn't impact the final DEM product much. Contours imported into SAGA. At this step, the contours have already been assigned a TIN interface. Converting the TIN interface into a DEM in SAGA. At this stage, the DEM is in a format that cannot be read by Resample.exe. Back in QGis, where it is now ready for export as a GeoTIFF file that Resample.exe can read and convert to *.BGL A raster extraction of hillshade data on the DEM, illustrating the resolution of the test DEM's clarity. At this step, it was exported as a GeoTIFF, then an *.INF file wrote for compilation to a FSX *.BGL Loaded into FSX. Note the elevation difference. The former lake shore was set with flatten at the altitude of present-day Spirit Lake. The DEM falls to pre-1980 eruption-level shoreline altitude. The altitude and elevation difference on Spirit Lake's southeast shore, in the vicinity of Harry Truman's Mount St. Helens Lodge.
  6. Hi, Jay. Sorry that I didn't respond in time to your question. A lot has happened in life since I was last here, and I ended up taking a break from both this project, Flight Sim in general, and a lot of other things. Suffice it to say, sadly, to answer your question: The DEM of the area outside of the peak itself just doesn't exist. I too, have been looking for it. In the last few months, I have been hard at work on this project. I picked it back up because someone on a local Mount St. Helens group reached out to me via Facebook and asked if I was the author of the few YouTube videos I have up regarding it. It was as if I was a celebrity when I told him I was. In the process of restarting the project, I have since learned that the USGS has either lost or destroyed the old, pre-eruption DEM of the area around Mount St. Helens that was authored in 1983, for a study both that year and for one authored in 1986. The hillshade/DEM grayscale images of that DEM appear on the MSSS (Malin Space Science Systems) website as the founder of the company is one of the aforementioned latter study's authors. I reached out to both he, and his co-author both a month ago and those emails have gone unanswered. Additionally, I've reached out to several USGS geologists at the Cascades Volcano Observatory and they cannot locate it, either (and some haven't even answered my emails at all). They continue to tell me that they can't locate it because the data retrieval systems to which USGS uses were outmoded years ago. I also tried reaching out to the author of a study done in 2009 (then a student at Oregon's Portland State University) who partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers, who used five 15-minute USGS quadrangle topographic maps to create a DEM of the pre- and post-eruption landslide deposit areas, and the elevation changes in the Toutle Valley down to Hoffstadt Bluffs. Attempts to reach out failed, because while his study is freely available to download and read on Portland State University's website, the contact info. of the author is hidden. Consequent to those findings and the circumstances to which I am dealt with, I am in the process of trying to create that DEM myself. I have downloaded those same five USGS 15-minute quadrangle topographic maps of Mount St. Helens, which were done in the 1950s. To date, they remain the highest quality, pre-1980 eruption topographic elevation maps of Mount St. Helens ever created by the USGS. They were also the source of the pre-1980 cone DEM to which you speak (and which I also have, and it forms the basis of the pre-1980 cone in the sim). Work also restarted on the project because I was contacted by an individual on Facebook who subsequently put me in contact with Harry Truman's living granddaughter. She provided me with great reference material with which to work on refining his lodge and cabins in the sim. Suffice it to say, I was way off in some aspects, and Harry Truman's Mount St. Helens Lodge ended up being overhauled. That same individual put me in contact with the very individual who operated the Spirit Lake Lodge, a mile and a half downstream from Harry Truman's lodge. An entire day's worth of work went into modeling that lodge as well, plus a cabin that was nearby (modeled from photos sourced by a family member of the former cabin owner itself). Additionally, I reached out and contacted the curator of a local Facebook page that focuses on pre-1980 Mount St. Helens. This was after I'd discovered the page and the fact it had a few high-res photos of one of the YMCA camps and Harmony Falls Lodge. After contacting him, he then subsequently provided me with over 60 photographs of the pre-eruption cabins, lodges, and other structures that dotted the pre-1980 Spirit Lake shoreline. These photos also included photos and a map of the United States Forest Service campground at Spirit Lake. Over 100 photos were sent as reference. One other contributor to the project, an individual whose father worked for Weyerhaeuser at the time the eruption occurred and who worked on recovering the downed timber post-eruption, sent me over sixty photos from his family's private collection and the private collection of another individual (a friend of his), showing the areas that were destroyed, only the photos were taken in the previous two days before the eruption. These photos included the only known photographs taken one day before the eruption, of the now-destroyed logging equipment on Coldwater Ridge that visitors can see when they hike the ridge. In two of the photos that were sent, taken on May 16, 1980, show a grayish-green Chevrolet pickup with a canopy, seen on a logging scale crossing just west of the Highway 504 closure gate. The owners of that truck, William and Jean Parker, are seen standing next to it talking with a few other individuals. The Parker's truck, and their bodies, were discovered by rescue crews near Hanaford Lake the day after. So, suffice it to say, I am hard at work on continuing the project yet again. Here is what has changed since my last post in this thread: 1.) Newer, higher resolution source aerial image of the peak for the terrain overlay was sourced from a USGS server. It is the same image used in early screenshots and videos. However, the resolution is sourced from the master file. The details of the peak are now crystal clear, much sharper than before. Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Updated Terrain (improved color accuracy) by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Updated Terrain (improved color accuracy) by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Updated Terrain (improved color accuracy) by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Updated Terrain (improved color accuracy) by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr 2.) I have significantly overhauled the 3D sim objects in the sim, as well as added several others. Not shown in this series of photos is the Boy Scouts of America camp, aptly named Camp Spirit Lake, which was on the northwest corner of the northeast arm of Spirit Lake. As you'll see here in these screen captures, Harry Truman's lodge has received the largest makeover, due to the large and rather high quality reference material to which I received (which also included brochures of his lodge and cabins, dated in the 1950s and 1960s). You'll see here, too, that I've added the United States Forest Service ranger station at Spirit Lake, as well as the nine bathroom buildings that resided at the USFS Spirit Lake Campground. (next up, simulating campfires at night. Still working on that! :) ) Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Spirit Lake Lodge Updates by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - US Forest Service Spirit Lake Campground and Ranger Station by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr Mount St. Helens Pre-1980 for Microsoft Flight Simulator X - Updated Mount St. Helens Lodge (better modeling, texture mapping and accuracy) by Steven Rosenow, on Flickr And lastly, an updated video tour. This video, simulating a late August 1979 mid-morning flight, takes off from the edge of a clearcut on what was then known as South Coldwater Ridge. Eighteen years into the future, this would be the north edge of the Johnston Ridge Observatory's parking lot, at a helipad just off the lot. The flight begins by taking off over the ridge, turning south over a quarry where nine months later, USGS Geologist David A. Johnston would be stationed. It continues by circling over the mountain, then descending to Spirit Lake where it flies up the lake to the BSA camp, then turns back south for a pass over Harry's lodge, then onto the Spirit Lake Lodge before flying back to end at Harry Truman's Mount St. Helens lodge. It is 24 minutes long, flown in the Dodosim Bell 206. No music in the video, just the sound of a 250-C20B.
  7. Hold on tight.... I have a lengthy reply coming up. Suffice to say, I'm working on this yet again. Please read my reply when done. :)
  8. The Bell 206 has been a default helicopter in Flight Simulator since FS98. I still have it on my laptop.
  9. Define "later on..." I would hope that's sooner rather than later or else there will likely be a revolt against the new Flight Simulator with the helicopter sim community, which to me still seems to be going fairly strong in spite of Hovercontrol having gone the wayside. It seems utterly foolish NOT to include helicopters in the initial release since they had been a default feature of Flight Simulator since Flight Simulator 1998. I just hope that the "later releases" aren't years down the road, because I remember vividly there were some promised releases post-FSX that never happened. One of them was supposed to be the successor to FSX, as I recall they were working on its successor when ACES was disbanded.
  10. I hope at least the Bell JetRanger is a feature as well.
  11. And one more video! Harry Truman's Mount St. Helens Lodge is now complete in FSX. For a quick showcase, I loaded up a flight at Bear Meadow approximately 8 miles NE of Mount St. Helens. The flight begins by flying over a nearby ridge with Mount St. Helens in view, then transiting through Norway Pass for a skim of Spirit Lake's surface at 130 knots.After, I bring the helicopter back around and land it in front of Harry Truman's lodge, for a shutdown.
  12. Much progress has been made since the last post! Since I last updated, I've been hard at work pushing towards completion by modeling all the landmarks at Spirit Lake, most notably the Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake, owned by 84-year-old Harry Truman. Harry Truman became a folk hero and overnight media sensation, with his steadfast refusal to leave his beloved lodge and mountain, saying "That mountain is a part of Truman and I'm a part of it!" I have several more buildings to compile and complete. Also, I am still trying to source a wider DEM terrain mesh pre-1980 for the area, but so far things are looking fantastic!
  13. KSHN - Sanderson Field - in Shelton, WA has a N/S runway that has been deactivated since the 1980s, and it's depicted as such in FSX.
  14. Things are coming along quite nicely! I've managed to realign Highway 504 to its pre-1980 alignment as well as realign Spirit Lake to its pre-1980 shoreline. In addition, I've begun testing prototype seasonal variations. So far, this is looking fantastic! Winter: Spring: Summer: Fall:
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