Eruptions of volcanoes

Volcano Eruptions

Volcano eruptions occur when lava and gas are exposed from a volcanic vent. Because of the flow of lava, this generates movement of people around the volcano, as well as landslides.

Types of Eruptions

The most destructive type of eruption is known as an avalanche. The incandescent magma that erupts is of great degree; this type of explosion can travel hundreds of kilometers in an hour and can reach up to 40 kilometers from the location. Cleveland Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines are two of the most recent eruptions whose impacts may be documented. Others are Mount Etna, Ubinas Volcano, Mount Shasta, and Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador. This paper evaluates the volcanic eruption of Mt Rainer its location and date it erupted it shape and preparedness for any eruption.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is one of the highest mountains in the Northwest of Pacific, and it is the highest peak in the United States. Below is a satellite image showing volcano and surrounding settlement.

Location and Shape

It is an active volcano and is located 87km of the southeast of the national park of Rainier. Thus making it most known mountain in united states because of its arc and has an elevation that measures up to 4,392 m.

Volcanic Activity

Thus, the in regards to the shape of a volcano the crest known as the Columbia is on the highest part. To the second highest part is the point of success, which has a height of 4,315 m, edges of the summit of a southern plateau and the success cleaver is at a ridge of the top. It entails topography of 42m and thus taken into consideration as a different mountain. The lowest of it part is referred to as liberty cap which is 4,301m. To the NW end, it faces the liberty ridge and the Willis walls it can be considered as the different mountain but because of the large size of Mount Rainier. The image below shows a shape of Mount Rainier.

Eruption Threats and Impacts

It is clear that Mount Rainer is an active volcano then and to any speculation of eruptions. Its unexplained eruptions have built an edifice that is capped by snow with glaciers (Samolczyk et al., 2016). The last eruption occurred in 1894, which was a result of explosions that was reported based on observation in the Seattle and Tacoma areas. If an explosion happens again, it might be much bigger or similar to this and will generate volcanic ash. In addition, lead to lava flowing and avalanches made up of hot rocks and volcanic gases referred as the pyroclastic type of flows. It then melts into ice and then produces series of melt water that takes up loose rock and rapid flow of slur made of mud and lahars. To pyroclastic flows, it only flows to the extent of 10 miles and remains still. Contrary lava flowing that flows a longer distance.

Impacts on Settlement

Ash distributed by the wind towards the settlement in the east. The plumes of volcanic ashes cause a great danger aircraft in times of flight and incredibly detract aviation process (Lancaster et al., 2012). More so, volcano ash that falls on the ground causes disturbance to residents. It affects transportation sector and increases the cost of cleaning. In addition, the risk that lahar poses due to a flow of lava and volcanic ash falling and other volcanic matters. Structures comprise of bridges, pipeline system, and the presence of highways. Lahars then when flowing then destroys this man made construction and by burying them.

Population Threat

Certainly, it poses a threat to the existing population there is up to 80,000 people that living in the Mount Rainier zones. Most importantly, which has highways and other essential utilities such as business running, electricity, and some seaports. In addition, to the west flank, Mount Rainier which also involves the Puyallup river which has a tremendous ability to trigger massive landslides that cause lahar traveling because of fragile clay that has rocks (Peterson et al., 2012). Thus it must be considered that Puyallup River, and Nisqually River, are weak with this rocks and therefore have a risk to such kind of situations.

Long-Term Effects of Lahar

Consequently, there are long-term effects of lahar mainly they fill the streams with a lot of sand, mud, and boulders. Hence, this will lead to eroding of-of rivers and streams and thus form flowing sediments; this causes flooding and continuous sealing due to massive deposits. Sediments have been noted in the port of Seattle and Duwamish Rivers. These sediments have been due to an erosion of deposits of lahar that came because of an eruption.

Threats and Emergency Preparedness

Furthermore, the flow of debris threatens areas that are in Mount Rainier Park. This debris affects vulnerable places that surround Mount Rainier, National Park. It also is a risk to visitors who visit the park and its infrastructure (John et al., 2008). Mount Rainier Park does a job in educating its staff to ensure that visitors avoid moving towards the valley. People may live next to settlement because of their long-term stay. In addition, the environment offers job opportunities because of its visiting areas.

Preparedness Measures

How well are they prepared if the next eruption occurs? Every individual residing near such mountains should ask this question. The previous lahars leave thicker layers of mud, boulders, and logs along the valleys. Thus this is important to geologists use this and others to ascertain and come up with assumptions of future danger threats (Andrews et al., 2014). It is important to note that areas that have lahar have been taken into action by geologist to provide a framework into coming up with steps that will help in regulating threats that may arise from any volcanic eruption.

Emergency Management

In order to curb risks from lahar that come upon due to landslides at the west flank, there has been formulated and emergency management. This is achieved through detection components consisting of many monitors that are responsible for recording the vibrations of the ground (Du Bray et al, 2011). When lava is flowing, automatic alert is sent to emergency management, which responds then to these alerts.

Importance of Monitoring

It is thus important to be aware of the volcanic eruption. This is enhanced through monitoring of active volcanoes. Agencies responsible should play a significant role in assessing of dangers that are to come and alert the public of the imminent eruption to evade catastrophe. Active monitoring of these volcanoes will help avoid any catastrophic destruction that may be caused by the eruptions.


Andrews, B., & Manga, M. (2014). Thermal and rheological controls on the formation of mafic enclaves or banded pumice. Contributions To Mineralogy & Petrology, 167(1), 1-16. doi:10.1007/s00410-013-0961-7.

Du Bray, E. A., & John, D. A. (2011). Petrologic, tectonic, and metallogenic evolution of the Ancestral Cascades magmatic arc, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Geosphere, 7(5), 1102-1133. doi:10.1130/GES00669.1.

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. Journal Of Volcanology & Geothermal Research, 175(3), 289-314. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.04.004.

Lancaster, S. T., Nolin, A. W., Copeland, E. A., & Grant, G. E. (2012). Periglacial debris-flow initiation and susceptibility and glacier recession from imagery, airborne LiDAR, and ground-based mapping. Geosphere, 8(2), 417-430.

Peterson, C., Minor, R., Gates, E. B., Vanderburgh, S., & Carlisle, K. (2012). Correlation of Tephra Marker Beds in Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Fill of the Submerged Lower Columbia River Valley, Washington and Oregon, U.S.A. Journal Of Coastal Research, 28(6), 1362-1380. doi:10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-11-00181.1

Samolczyk, M. A., Vallance, J. W., Cubley, J. F., Osborn, G. D., Clark, D. H., & Peck, W. (2016). Geochemical characterization and dating of R tephra, a postglacial marker bed in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA. Canadian Journal Of Earth Sciences, 53(2), 202-217. doi:10.1139/cjes-2015-0115.

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