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Volcanoes in Washington

Everyone knows Mount St. Helens is a volcano, but are you familiar with all the other volcanic sites in Washington?

The United States Geological Survey cites seven sites in Washington on the list of volcanoes they monitor around the U.S.

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Glacier Peak

Located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Glacier Peak is the most remote of the volcanoes monitored in Washington. This is lucky because they say it's produced some of the largest eruptions since the ice ages in the U.S. The USGS says Glacier Peak, along with Mount St. Helens, are the only Washington peaks that had big eruptions in the past 15,000 years.

Glacier Peak's eruptions tend to be explosive. Were there an eruption, towns like Darrington, Rockport, Concrete, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Mount Vernon, and La Conner might be impacted by lahars, which are large destructive mud flows, and towns to the east, including Winthrop, Twisp, and the Methow River valley, might see falling airborne rock debris.

The mountain has erupted at intervals around 500 to 2,000 years. It's believed to have erupted twice in the past 2,000 years. The USGS says that each year, there is a roughly 1 in 1,000 chance a volcanic episode will begin.

Future eruptions will likely be preceded by earthquakes and potentially emission of volcanic gases, all of which could be detected by monitoring equipment.

Photo by (USGS)
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