Volcano Profile: Mount Baker

Continuing our Volcano Awareness Month profile of Washington’s explosive peaks, Ear to the Ground now takes a look north to our youngest and quietest volcano, Mount Baker.

The talented and dedicated geologists in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources have put together a treasure trove of information about the north Cascades’ preeminent peak. Read through and find out where Mt. Baker has unleashed historic lahars, where future ones may spread and take a look at the treasure chest of photos compiled by more than a century of study and exploration.

For more volcanic information from our geologists, take a look here: https://washingtonstategeology.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/hot-out-of-the-mantle/

WASHINGTON STATE GEOLOGY NEWS

BAKER.pngLocation: Whatcom County, Washington

Elevation: 3,286 m; 10,781 ft

Nearby Towns: Glacier, Concrete

GEOLOGY

ger_hazards_volc_baker_geo_map.pngMount Baker produces andesitic lava flows, pumice, and lahars.The areas prone to lahars are determined in part by figuring out where lahars traveled in the past. Evidence of massive lahars is still abundant in many of the valleys that drain Mount Baker. The map shows the distribution of lava flows and lahars mapped at the surface compared to hazard zones (gray shaded areas). Much of the volcanic deposits have been either eroded or buried by rivers, glaciers, and human development.

ERUPTION AND LAHAR HISTORY

Mount Baker is one of the youngest Cascade volcanoes, and erupts less frequently. Its last major eruptive period occurred about 6,600 years ago, where large portions of the flank repeatedly collapsed generating massive lahars. There are additional reports of eruptions and lahars from the 19th century, and as recently as 1975, fumarole activity…

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