Saturday, December 27, 2014

Volcanoes in the Pacific North West

As someone born in Vancouver in 1965 volcanoes became real for me  when Mount St Helens erupted on the May long weekend in 1980 - it was about ten to nine in the morning on Sunday May 18th.   I was in the Okanagan on Three Mile Beach near Penticton when the eruption happened.   I heard the explosion as I was looking south over the lake and thought there was blasting going on somewhere in the direction of Apex.   The next morning everything had a minute dusting of volcanic ash.   

I think until then the idea of volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest was just not real for people because it had been so long since there had been an eruption in this region.   The nearest was Mount Lassen in Northern California in 1915.    But this region is very much an active volcanic region.

Cascade Volcanic Arc stretches from northern California to the mid coast of BC and has some 18 volcanoes

Start of the Last Major Eruptions 
May 18th 1980 - Mount St Helens
May 22nd 1915 - Lassen Peak
1866 - Mount Hood
1843?  - Mount Baker - there has been activity since then, but nothing major
1830s - Mount Rainer -  There is no clarity when the last major eruption happened other than it was between 1820 and 1854  it is listed as one of the 16 decade volcanoes globally which are volcanoes that might erupt and are close enough to populated areas to be of concern.
1786? - Mount Shasta
1782 - Mount Hood
1700+-100 - Glacier Peak
ca 1300 - Silverthorne

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