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MOUNT RAINIER VOLCANO - WASHINGTON
Mount Rainier volcano (14,410 ft) dominates the landscape of a large part of western Washington. It stands nearly 3 miles higher than the lowlands to the west and 1.5 miles higher than the surrounding mountains. The base of the volcano spreads over an area of about 100 square miles, and lava flows that radiate from the base of the cone extend to distances of as much as 9 miles. The flanks of Mount Rainier are drained by five major rivers and their tributaries. -- Excerpt from: Crandell, 1971
Mount Rainier is the highest and third most voluminous volcano of the Cascade Range. The main cone of this stratovolcano has formed since 730,000 years ago. Mount Rainier is potentially the most dangerous volcano in the Cascades because it is very steep, covered in large amounts of ice and snow, and near a large population that lives in lowland drainages. Numerous debris avalanches start on the volcano. The largest debris avalanche traveled more than 60 miles (100 km) to Puget Sound. The most recent eruption was about 2,200 years ago and covered the eastern half of the park with up to one foot (30 cm) of lapilli, blocks, and bombs.