Mount Baker Volcano Research Center

Eruptive History

Event and age Comment Some recommended exposures
Recurrent small debris flows of volcaniclastic sediments leave terraces in tributary stream valleys Destruction of trails, roads, and bridges; caused by heavy precipitation, often with rapid snowmelt Park Butte trail near Rocky Creek ford; Rainbow Creek Rd 1144 above trail to Baker Hot Springs
Increased heat flux at Sherman Crater, 1975-76 Levels in Baker Lake and Lake Shannon drawn down in preparation for inflows of lahars analogous to Morovitz Creek Lahar Sherman Crater's fumaroles
1891; ca. 1917-1932 Two debris avalanches in Rainbow Creek Left bank of Rainbow Creek (stops 5, 6 in Tucker et al, 2007a)
1845-47- failures of east side of Sherman Crater Morovitz Creek Lahar flows down tributaries and reaches Baker River Stacked lahar diamicts, right bank Boulder Ck just above Road 11 crossing (stop 4, Tucker et al, 2007a)
1843 to present- Sherman Crater eruptive period YP phreatomagmatic eruption ejects tephra and hydrothermally-altered ballistic blocks. YP tephra occasionally present in trail cuts at the base of the root zone; stop 3 in Tucker et al, 2007a; altered bright white boulders along Scott Paul trail south of Easton Glacier are bombs remobilized by the glacier.
5,740-5,930 BP Mazama Park eruptive period OP, BA tephras emplaced;Lahars derived from flank collapses reach lowlands of Whatcom County BA is common in most trail cuts; in road cuts of Heather Meadows; both tephras are prominent along Park Butte Trail near trail fork to Railroad Grade;Middle Fork Lahar diamict is prominent at base of bluffs on east side of Middle Fork Nooksack, downstream from Mosquito Lake Rd bridge; stop 3 and Fig. 8 of Linneman et al, 2007
8,500 BP Mount Baker flank collapse Schreibers Meadow lahar surrounds cinder cone at Schreibers Meadow Along Park Butte trail in Schreibers Meadow
8,500-8,850 BP Schreibers Meadow eruptive period SC tephra; Sulphur Creek lava enters Glacial Lake Baker; volcaniclastic sedimentation in impounded lake Stops 1 and 2 in Tucker et al 2007; SC tephra accumulations along road 12 just below Schriebers trailhead, and in trail cuts along Scott Paul Trail just below the 4600' saddle that overlooks Sandy Creek; Sulphur Creek lava is present in Sulphur Creek where crossed by Road 12, and along Rd 11 just north of Shadow of the Sentinels trailhead.
~12,200- 15,000 BP Carmelo Crater eruptive period Assemblages of lavas, block-and-ash flows and lahars in radial valleys Boulder Creek assemblage 2 km above Rd 11 bridge; Stop 4 of Tucker et al 2007
Late Pleistoceneimpoundment of Glacial Lake Baker Moraine and outwash embankment on north wall of Skagit River valley impounds Baker River. Volcaniclastic-free lacustrine deposits in Glacial Lake Baker Horseshoe Cove, Baker Lake Reservoir (outcrop examination requires reservoir draw down to low levels (mid-winter to early spring)
Late Pleistocene growth of Mount Baker by multiple eruptions Andesite lavas and breccias.  Stacked lavas near Easton Glacier terminus; Roman Nose and Coleman Glacier headwall; Heliotrope Creek crossing on Heliotrope Ridge Trail
Ca. 300-500 ka. Pre-Baker volcanism of Black Buttes, Ptarmigan Ridge, Table Mountain. Many other older units, not listed here. (maps and Table 1 in Hildreth et al, 2003) Basaltic and andesitic lavas and flow breccias Black Buttes lavas are exposed above the Scott Paul trail below the 4600' pass that overlooks Sandy Creek; Coleman Pinnacle; Table Mountain and Heather Meadows
1.15 Ma Kulshan caldera (Hildreth, 1996) Rhyodacite ignimbrite, and post caldera domes Pale ash flow tuff deposits are visible in gullies south of the Artist Point parking lot; lava domes are just south of the Ptarmigan Ridge trail between Ptarmigan Pass and Coleman Pinnacle (Babcock and Carson, 2000)
3.72-2.96 Ma Hannegan caldera (Tucker et al, 2007b) Rhyolite ignimbrite, intracaldera breccia, numerous dikes, post caldera intrusions South face of Hannegan Peak (Hannegan Trail); intrusions are on west flanks of Ruth and Icy Peaks (alpine travel required) (Babcock and Carson, 2000; Tabor and Haugerud, 1999; Tucker, 2006; Tucker et al, 2007b)