Rainier

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 46.853°N
  • 121.76°W

  • 4392 m
    14406 ft

  • 321030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Rainier.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Rainier.

Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1894 Nov 21 1894 Dec 24 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
[ 1882 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1879 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1870 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1858 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1854 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1843 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1825 (?) ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1450 ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0910 ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0440 ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layers TC1 and TC2
0150 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Tephra layer SL8
0250 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer C
0400 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology
0500 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Tephra layer SL5
0610 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layers SL3 and SL4
0650 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Tephra layer SL2
0700 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Tephra layer SL1
2550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Tephra layer B
2750 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Tephra layer H
3650 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layers S, F
3850 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
4850 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer N
5050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer D
5350 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer L
5550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer A
7800 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
8050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Tephra layer R

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Coombs H A, Howard A D, 1960. United States of America. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 9: 1-68.

Crandell D R, 1969. The geologic story of Mount Rainier. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1292: 1-43.

Crandell D R, 1971. Postglacial lahars from Mount Rainier volcano, Washington. U S Geol Surv Prof Pap, 677: 1-75.

Fiske R S, Hopson C A, Waters A C, 1963. Geology of Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. U S Geol Surv Prof Pap, 444: 1-93.

Frank D, 1995. Surficial extent and conceptual model of hydrothermal system at Mount Rainier, Washington. J Volc Geotherm Res, 65: 51-80.

Gardner J E, Carey S, Sigurdsson H, 1998. Plinian eruptions at Glacier Peak and Newberry volcanoes, United States: implications for volcanic hazards in the Cascade Range. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 110: 173-187.

Hildreth W E, 2007. Quaternary magmatism in the Cascades--geologic perpectives. U S Geol Surv Prof Pap, 1744: 1-125.

John D A, Sisson T W, Breit G N, Rye R O, Vallance J W, 2008. Characteristics, extent and origin of hydrothermal alteration at Mount Rainier Volcano, Cascades Arc, USA: implications for debris-flow hazards and mineral deposits. J Volc Geotherm Res, 175: 289-314.

Moxham R M, Crandell D R, Marlatt W E, 1965. Thermal features at Mount Rainier, Washington, as revealed by infrared surveys. U S Geol Surv Prof Pap, 525-D: 93-100.

Mullineaux D R, 1974. Pumice and other pyroclastic deposits in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1326: 1-83.

Pringle P T, 2008. Roadside geology of Mount Rainier National Park and vicinity. Wash State Dept Nat Resour, Inf Circ 107, 200 p.

Reid M E, Sisson T W, Brien D L, 2001. Volcano collapse produced by hydrothermal alteration and edifice shape, Mount Rainier, Washington. Geology, 29: 779-782.

Sherrod D R, Smith J G, 1990. Quaternary extrusion rates of the Cascade Range, northwestern United States and southern British Columbia. J Geophys Res, 95: 19,465-19,474.

Sisson T W, Vallance J W, 2009. Frequent eruptions of Mount Rainier over the last ~2,600 years. Bull Volc, 71: 595-618.

Stockstill K R, Vogel T A, Sisson T W, 2003. Origin and emplacement of the andesite of Burroughs Mountain, a zoned, large-volume lava flow at Mount Rainier, Washington, USA. J Volc Geotherm Res, 119: 275-296.

Vallance J W, Scott W E, 1997. The Osceola mudflow from Mount Rainier: sedimentology and hazard implications of a huge clay-rich debris flow. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 109: 143-163.

Venezky D Y, Rutherford M J, 1997. Preeruption conditions and timing of dacite-andesite magma mixing in the 2.2 ka eruption at Mount Rainier. J Geophys Res, 102: 20,069-20,086.

Wood C A, Kienle J (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ Press, 354 p.

Zimbelman D R, Rye R O, Landis G P, 2000. Fumaroles in ice caves on the summit of Mount Rainier--preliminary stable isotope, gas, and geochemical studies. J Volc Geotherm Res, 97: 457-473.

Mount Rainier, at 4392 m the highest peak in the Cascade Range, forms a dramatic backdrop to the Puget Sound region. Large Holocene mudflows from collapse of this massive, heavily glaciated andesitic volcano have reached as far as the Puget Sound lowlands. The present summit was constructed within a large crater breached to the northeast formed by collapse of the volcano during a major explosive eruption about 5600 years that produced the widespread Osceola Mudflow. Rainier has produced eruptions throughout the Holocene, including about a dozen during the past 2600 years; the largest of these occurred about 2200 years ago. The present-day summit cone is capped by two overlapping craters. Extensive hydrothermal alteration of the upper portion of the volcano has contributed to its structural weakness; an active thermal system has caused periodic melting on flank glaciers and produced an elaborate system of steam caves in the summit icecap. Reported 19th-century eruptions have not left identifiable deposits, but a phreatic eruption may have taken place as recently as 1894.