Mount Rainier, Washington
One of the largest mountains in North America, Mount Rainier, otherwise known as Mount Tacoma is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and is an active strato-volcano, also being one of the most dangerous volcanoes in existence. Because of its threat, it is listed on the Decade Volcano list as one of the world’s most dangerous threats. The amount of glacial ice on the volcano could produce massive lahars when she erupts that could destroy the entire Puyallup River valley and destroy Seattle. It is located only 54 miles south-southeast of Seattle that hosts over 3.7 million inhabitants in its area. Mythically, Rainier was known by local tribes as the Goddess “Talol” (Tahoma/Tacoma) as the “Mother of Waters” or “Larger than Mount Baker”. “Rainier” was given by the adventurer navigator George Vancouver to honor his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier and was listed on the Lewis & Clark expedition map as “Mt. Regniere”. A national park was established to encompass it as a forest reserve. She can be seen as far away as Corvallis Oregon or Victoria British Columbia on a clear day. There are over 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent snowfields / glaciers atop Mount Rainier and is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit hosts two volcanic craters, each over 1,000 feet in diameter with the larger east one overlapping the west crater. The craters are free of snow and ice due to the geo-thermal heat coming from within the volcano, forming the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters and hosting over 2 miles of passages. Mount Rainier start the heads of the Carbon, Mowich, Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Puyallup fed from the glaciers, while other fed glaciers create the White River. Most empty into Puget Sound and the Columbia River. There are three major summits atop Mount Rainier, most notably Columbia Crest, Point Success, and Success Cleaver. The mountain is made up of lava flows, debris flows, and pyroclastic ejecta and flows from past eruptions. The earliest deposits are over 840,000 yeaers old with the current cone being over 500,000 years old. Most of the geological composition is andesite. Past lahars and lava flows had reached Puget Sound in the the past as recent as 5,000 years ago during a major collapse. Her most recent eruptions were between 1820 and 1854, though eruptive activity took place also in 1858, 1870, 1879, 1882, and 1894. She is ready for a major eruption anytime now. She is part of the eastern rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire, nestled with other active volcanoes in the east such as Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak, Crater Lake, Three Sisters, Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker, Mount Cayley, Garibaldi, Silverthrone, and Mount Meager. Rainier has up to 5 earthquakes recorded monthly near its summit with swarms of 5-10 shallow earthquakes taking place every 2-3 days from time to time below the summit.