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March 3, 2016
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Time Details:
Thursday evening program
Burlington Public Library Rotary Meeting Room
820 E Washington Ave
Burlington, WA 98233
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Mount Baker Eruption History and Hazards

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dave Tucker of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center will be the speaker for a program on the volcanic history of Mount Baker, its eruptions, collapses, and the hazards this active volcano poses. The state of volcano monitoring at the volcano will be discussed. The likely volcanic future and the potential for impacts on Whatcom-Skagit communities will close out the presentation.

    Only 40,000 years old, the Mount Baker cone is about the same age as Mount Saint Helens. Very little was known of its volcanic history until extensive geologic mapping by USGS geologists Wes Hildreth and Kevin Scott began in the mid-1990s.
     We now know that Mount Baker is but the youngest in a series of volcanoes in the immediate area extending back over 1,000,000 years. Other volcanoes in the Baker group include: two calderas that each erupted roughly 200 times as much ash as Mount Saint Helens did in 1980 all in single devastating eruptions; a subglacial cone; and a number of once-sizable stratovolcanoes, most now eroded to nubs.
     Collapse of the volcano’s southwestern slope sent a large mudflow, or lahar, down the Middle Fork Nooksack River into the lowlands of Whatcom County and possibly as far as the Fraser River. Field studies continue to describe the post-glacial eruptive history. Much of this work is being done by graduate students at Western Washington University.
     The newest, as yet unpublished research has revealed the patterns of ash deposits erupted from Mount Baker which will be part of the program along with video from inside the crater.