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Mount Rainier was selected as a Decade Volcano because of the hazard it poses to surrounding, highly populated areas, especially the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. Mount Rainier has an extensive cover of snow and ice, which, if melted rapidly , could produce catastrophic floods and mudflows. The volcano has an extensive but poorly studied geological record of activity including lava flows, ash eruptions, avalanches, and mudflows. While it has had no significant historic eruptions, minor ones did occur in the mid 1800s, and dozens of lahars are known to have occurred in the last 5,000 years. Some of these lahar deposits are quite massive and extend into the populated Puget Sound lowlands. Because urban development of Mount Rainier's flanks and nearby valleys is still in early stages compared to many volcanos, we have a chance to mitigate the volcanic hazards through appropriate land use.
Hazards from Mount Rainier not only include those of a purely volcanic origin, but also those related to glacier outburst floods, rock-fall, and edifice collapse. Edifice failures, either spontaneous or triggered by large local earthquakes, represent a significant hazard which is hard to quantify. Seismic monitoring of Mount Rainier is part of the normal monitoring job of the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network. Alarm mechanisms as part of seismic network operations can rapidly notify personnel of unusual or increasing seismicity which would likely precede renewed volcanic activity. It also can, and has, provided information about other hazardous events such as rock-fall and small debris flows. In its present configuration it is doubtful it could provide timely alarm information needed for the evacuation of nearby towns potentially impacted by a large spontaneous edifice collapse.
Sep 8, 2010 - During the last two days the tremor has decreased in intensity a lot. It seems to be down to only one third as many locatable bursts in the north and today there were none in the south near Longview. Maybe this ETS is about over.
These observations may also help explain the unusual lack of deep seismology in the Pacific Northwest, and perhaps shed light on some larger mysteries. "If you look at the mass extinctions on Earth," Camp said, "we think that a few may have been associated with eruptions from mantle plumes."
Originally posted by westcoast
reply to post by Isaac (RIP DUSTIN)
The circle you mention has been talked about before amongst some of us quake watchers. It's becoming quite obvious, don't ya think? Perhaps that plume newly discovered under Yellowstone isn't alone? Oh man....why do I have these thoughts??