Posted by: magmatist | June 29, 2011

large ice and rock avalanches, Mount Rainier

Over the past few days, several large debris avalanches have descended couloirs on the south side of Rainier’s edifice, roaring out onto the Nisqually Glacier. I don’t ordinarily post about our cousin to the south, but this is a possible scenario at Baker, too.

Newspaper account here:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015453613_rainier29m.html

YouTube video- be sure to watch in the extreme bottom left corner to see the toe of the slide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaRM44sh0TY

Dave

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Responses

  1. Spectacular! There have been similar rock/ice avalanches on Mt. Adams in 1997 (reference with images): http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Adams/DebrisAval/DebrisAval1997/framework.html
    as well as the ones from Sherman Peak (Baker’s south peak, such as John Scurlock’s image here http://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/64205338.
    Of course none of these are remotely comparable to the really huge debris avalanches that occur on our volcanoes rarely, most notably the one on Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980…..the largest historic landslide, volcanic or otherwise in recorded (but not geologic) history. http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Imgs/Jpg/MSH/Images/MSH80_st_helens_debris_avalanche_helicopter_09-16-80.jpg

    Another good video of one of the June 25th events on Mt. Rainier is this one:

    It is a little jittery, but the photographer zooms in on the landslide to show it a bit more up-close. Some of the blocks of ice and/or rock appear to be the size of a garage or small house.


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