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Mt. Rainier

Geology 220 - Harpp

Matt Bosselait

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier
American Supervolcano
Mt. Rainier
Matt Bosselait

Techtonic Setting
On Juan de Fuca/North American subduction zone (3)
Sits on 3 former volcanic mountains (3)
Andesitic lava composition - made from past explosive eruptions

Eruptive History
4 Stages of growth, in between dormant
- Old Desolate
- Rampart
-Little Tahoma
-Point Success
-Modern Holocene
Built on old volcanic cone ~500,000 years ago

Lahars #1 - 80,000 people live in range. Reach Puget Sound every 500-1,000 years.
Debris Flows #2 (1)
Scored a 286 on USGS's National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) Report, designed to asses monitoring need and potential danger.
Anything over 64 is considered a Level 4 Volcano (the highest score)
Level 4's need 12-20 seismic stations, gps, tiltmeters, gas, and satellite sensing capability (14)
Monitored real time by USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) to the Level 4 Standard
Similarities to Mt St Helens
Human History
Pacific Northwest
Washington State, southeast of Seattle-Tacoma (1)
Works Cited

1) Driedger, Carolyn L., and William E. Scott. Mount Rainier - Living Safely with a Volcano in Your Backyard. 3062 Vol. USGS, 2008. Print.

2) USGS CVO. "The Eruption History of Mount Rainier." 2/17/2012 2012.Web. <http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_rainier/mount_rainier_geo_hist_75.html>.

3) "Geology and History Summary for Mount Rainier."Web. <http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_rainier/mount_rainier_geo_hist_74.html>.

4) "Holocene, or Post-Glacial, Eruptions of Mount Rainier."Web. <http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_rainier/mount_rainier_geo_hist_76.html>.

5) Cornell University Law School. 16 U.S. Code § 92 - Control; Regulations; Grants for Buildings; Rights-of-Way; Fish and Game; Removal of Trespassers., 1899. Print.

6) Headley, Susan. "The Washington State Quarter." 2007.Web. <http://coins.about.com/od/uscoins/a/42nd_quarter.htm>.

7) "Mt. Rainier National Park Human History." 2013.Web. <http://www.ohranger.com/mt-rainier/human-history>.

8) Banse, Tom. "Tribal Alliance Seeks To Restore Native Name For Mount Rainier." 2/6/2012 2012.Web. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=146501063>.

9) Burbank, Douglas W. "A Chronology of Late Holocene Glacier Fluctuations on Mount Rainier, Washington." Arctic and Alpine Research 13.4 (1981): 369-86. Print.

10) du Bray, Edward A., and David A. John. "Petrologic, Tectonic, and Metallogenic Evolution of the Ancestral Cascades Magmatic Arc, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California." Geosphere 7.5 (2011): 1102-33. Print.

11) O'Neal, Michael A., et al. "Lichenometric Dating of Rock Surfaces in the Northern Cascade Range, USA." Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography 95.3 (2013): 241-8. Print.

12) Scott, Kevin M., and James W. Vallance. History of Landslides and Debris Flows at Mount Rainier. http://wa.water.usgs.gov/pubs/fs/fs_landslide.html: USGS, 1993. Print.

13) Sisson, T. W. "Frequent Eruptions of Mount Rainier Over the Last ∼2,600 Years." Bulletin of volcanology 71.6 (2009): 595-618. Print.

14) Ewert, John. "National Volcano Early Warning System", USGS 2005

15) Crandell, Dwight Raymond, and Howard Hamilton Waldron. "A Recent Volcanic Mudflow of Exceptional Dimensions from Mount Rainier, Washington." American Journal of Science 254.6 (1956): 349-62. Print.

16 ) Evarts, Russell C., Roger P. Ashley, and James G. Smith. "Geology of the Mount St. Helens Area: Record of Discontinuous Volcanic and Plutonic Activity in the Cascade Arc of Southern Washington." Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 92.B10 (1987): 10155-69. Print.
Glaciers and Snow on Mt. Rainier - Note how these melting leads to lahars (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Mount_Rainier_5917s.JPG)
Subduction Zone volcano formation in the Cascades (http://www.explorevolcanoes.com/volcanoimages/cascadessubduction.gif)
500,000 - 420,000: Old Desolate - Made of Pyroclasitc Flows (PFs) capped by thick lava
420,000 - 280,000: Rampart - reduced eruptions, almost no deposits
280,000 - 160: Mowich - Characterized by flank lava flows and dike formation
160,000 - 40,000: Little Tahoma - Erosion and parasitic cinder cones
40,000 - 15,000: Point Success - thin lava flows under glaciers

Growth periods @ Rainier
Holocene Activity
11,000 years ago - Sunrise period: ash and pumice falls, with at least 1 lahar (volcanic induced mudflow)
7,400 to 6,700 years ago – Cowlitz Park period: Pumice and ash falls, pyroclastic flows under ice causing lahars
5,600 to 4,500 years ago – Osceola period: dome collapse causes phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions leading to lahars
2,700 to 2,000 years ago – Summerland eruptive period : tephra falls and PF induced lahars
1,500 years ago – Twin Creek period
1,100 to 1,000 years ago – Fryingpan Creek period
500 years ago – Electron Mudflow
1840's to 1890's – Steam explosions seen by pioneers
USGS Hazards map showing the most recent volcanic deposits, locations, and types.
Characterized by periods of dormancy then high volume eruptions with a lot of lahar activity

History as park
Native American Inhabitants
5,000 BCE - Native Americans inhabit North America and name the land "Takhoma"

1792 - Explorer George Vancouver (Britain) names the mountain Mount Rainier after Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.

1899 - Mt. Rainier becomes the Nations 5th National Park

2007 - Mt Rainier featured on the Washington State Quarter

(6, 7)

Nisqually, Cowlitz, Yakama, Puyallup, and Muckleshoot tribes
Tribal names: Tahoma, Tacobeh, Pooskaus, Tacoma
Modern: "Ti'Swaq" 'touches the sky'

Established in 1899 by President William McKinley
Civilian Conservation Corps builds trails and buildings in 1930
Used as training for Everest mission in 1962

Map of zones affected by lahars and Pyroclastic Density Currents (PDS'c) (Hot slow of ash, rock, and gas) in a dome building and collapse event. Average repose period = 382 years.
"Next" eruption, predicted = 2276
Larger, darker orange = lahar zone
Lighter orange = PDC zone.
Zones based on current deposits from past events
Both zones = mandatory evacuations @ 1st sign of eruption, short time scale to react (Hours to minutes). (12) Based on Mt. Rainier's pattern of small to medium eruptions, with decreased reposed, this is the most likely scenario. (13)

Standard Dome Building / Block and Ash Eruption
5,000 years ago Mt. Rainier was 16,000 feet taller (mostly ice) and a debris flow melted all of it resulting in the Osceola Mudflow, leaving these zones in danger of a sizable flooding event (12) Zone based on deposits and local topography.
Big lahar event
More Likely ------------------------------------------------ Less Likely
Blast zone based on the 1980 Mt. St. Helens 8 mile blast radius. MSH and Mt Rainier are very similar volcanoes on the same subduction zone, so it's not a stretch to predict it could behave this way. Anything red would be gone, with widespread destruction beyond.
Worst Case Scenario
Glacier progression can be tracked through lichenometry, and glaciers have been receding since 1924. The line at which glaciers start has also regressed 160 meters since the early 19th century. We've known this since a 1981 study by Doug Burbank. While climate change doesn't change the eruptive nature, less ice on the summit to be liquified into lahars, but it also means more runoff which can mix with unconsolidated material without an eruption. (9)
Glaciers on Rainier
Mt. Rainier in the NW United States
Mt. Rainier Tourist Cabins (http://www.visitrainier.com/images/parkRegion_sunrise_historical_1.jpg)
Rainier Glaciers
Mt. St. Helens (MSH) catastrophically exploded in 1980, Mt. Rainier is closer to population centers and it not far away.

- Evidence of lateral blast debris on Osceola Mudflow (15). MSH erupted both laterally and vertically, something not observed before, but Rainier deposits show evidence this has happened before.

-Both sit on the Tertiary Cascade magmatic arc, and have similar flaws in the lithosphere beneath them, leading to similar magma sources (16) MSH was explosive due to high silica lava, could Rainier behave similarly?
MSH Lateral Blast (http://s-tiger.photovillage.org/photosDir/2369/thumb/800-JLM-NatGeo-Mount_St_Helens-1980-May_18.jpg)
USGS closely monitoring sector collapse (17), who's power was demonstrated at MSH in 1980.

Evidence shows sector collapse has occurred on Mt. Rainier before, and could again. (17)

Was one of the main causes of 1980 MSH eruption, triggering lateral blast.
Sector Collapse
Picture with lines indicating collapsed sector of MSH (http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/vwdocs/vwlessons/volcano_types/msh2.jpg)
Existing Sunset Amphitheater, a sector collapse. (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/Rainier/SunsetAmp_SRB_large.jpg)
USGS rendering of potential sector collapse after MSH like dome event. (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/Rainier/30410914_005_large.jpg)
Washington State Quarter with Mt. Rainier (http://www.quarterdesigns.com/proposed/washington/wa-2.jpg)
Mt. Rainier, long considered sacred, overlooks the surrounding landscape.
For real time hazard updates and more info visit the USGS Cascaded Volcano Observatory @ :
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