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Open-File Report 95–499

Volcanic-Hazard Zonation for Glacier Peak Volcano, Washington

By Richard B. Waitt, Larry G. Mastin, and James E. Begét

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.5 MB)Introduction

Glacier Peak, unlike other Cascade volcanoes in Washington, does not stand as a prominent backdrop to metropolitan centers. Glacier Peak’s attractions, as well as its hazards, thus tend to be overlooked. Yet like most other Cascade volcanoes, Glacier Peak has erupted several times since the Ice-age glaciers retreated 15,000 years ago—most recently around the eighteenth century. Since glacial times Glacier Peak has had larger and more explosive eruptions than any Washington volcano except Mount St. Helens. If similar eruptions took place today, they could place nearby communities at serious risk. This report describes hazards that would accompany future activity at Glacier Peak and shows areas that would most likely be affected.

Volcanic hazards at Glacier Peak result from several different phenomena: tephra fall, pyroclastic flows, pyroclastic surges, ballistic ejection, debris avalanches, lahars, and floods. Lahars represent the greatest hazard, followed by tephra fall. We describe each of these phenomena, the damage it can cause, its history of occurrence at Glacier Peak (if known), and where around Glacier Peak that damage is most likely to occur.

Link to the Data

Links to the Other Hazard Assessments

First posted December 22, 2010
Revised September 18, 2013

For additional information:
Contact CVO
Volcano Science Center, Cascades Volcano Observatory
U.S. Geological Survey
1300 SE Cardinal Court, Building 10, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683-9589

This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Waitt, R.B., Mastin, L.G., and Begét, J.E., 1995, Volcanic-hazard zonation for Glacier Peak volcano, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 95–499, 9 p., 1 plate, scale 1:200,000,



Volcanic Phenomena

Hazards Zonation

One plate

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