Volcano for Monday

Mount Rainier is an absolutely gorgeous stratovolcano that has its own national park, and is in fact not threatening to explode at any moment.

Fun fact: Mount Rainier is the grandaddy of the Cascade volcanoes, the tallest of the bunch.

Actually, the hazard that Mount Rainier is currently presenting is of a different geological variety: like basically every mountain in the US, its glaciers are in serious retreat1and that is clogging the downstream areas with all manner of sediment. The article mostly focuses on flood risks – which are a big concern when there are people living nearby. There’s also a minor mention about fish habitat, which can also be severely altered by changes in sediment load.

Mount Rainier’s glaciers being in retreat also makes me quite sad for aesthetic reasons. Part of the beauty of these big mountains is then they’re got their white cap on, all year round. Some day soon, we may not see that any more.

1 – You know, because of that global warming thing that totally isn’t happening because it was cold outside today.

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