Volcano Profile: Mount Baker

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Location: Whatcom County, Washington

Elevation: 3,286 m; 10,781 ft

Nearby Towns: Glacier, Concrete

GEOLOGY

ger_hazards_volc_baker_geo_map.pngMount Baker produces andesitic lava flows, pumice, and lahars.The areas prone to lahars are determined in part by figuring out where lahars traveled in the past. Evidence of massive lahars is still abundant in many of the valleys that drain Mount Baker. The map shows the distribution of lava flows and lahars mapped at the surface compared to hazard zones (gray shaded areas). Much of the volcanic deposits have been either eroded or buried by rivers, glaciers, and human development.

ERUPTION AND LAHAR HISTORY

Mount Baker is one of the youngest Cascade volcanoes, and erupts less frequently. Its last major eruptive period occurred about 6,600 years ago, where large portions of the flank repeatedly collapsed generating massive lahars. There are additional reports of eruptions and lahars from the 19th century, and as recently as 1975, fumarole activity and snow melt ramped up dramatically for several years.

Eruption and Lahar history of Mount Baker

Steam and gas still issue from both Sherman Crater and the Dorr fumarole field on the northeast flank of the volcano today. Mount Baker holds the world record for most snowfall in a single season—95 feet in 1999!

Short visual tour of Sherman Crater, Mount Baker summit fumarole field. Video by Dave Tucker.

Are You Volcano Ready?

  • Get to know your local volcano’s hazards
  • Register for notifications about the volcano’s activity
  • Make a plan to prepare your entire family for an emergency

Local Resources

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Visit the USGS website for more information on how to be volcano ready, interpretive signs, and lahar evacuation routes.

Click on the image (left) for a link to the poster.

 

Further Reading

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Potential Volcanic Hazards from Future Activity at Mount Baker 

 

 

 

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 Mount Baker-Living with an active volcano

 

 

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