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Mount Baker volcanoMt Baker 50 km east of Bellingham, Washington, is the northernmost of Washington's volcanoes and one of the lesser known ones in the Cascade Range.
Mt Baker Volcano has been very active during the last centuries, but has been in repose now for more than 130 years.
Early settlers in the Puget Sound region observed 19th-century activity, which consisted of relatively small phreatic eruptions. Sherman Crater, the historically active crater immediately south of the summit, started to emit steam since 1975, but no other signs suggest a reawakening in the near future.
The main hazard from Mt Baker are lahars, caused by melting of glacial ice covering the upper slopes. Baker is drained in the north by North Fork Nooksack River, in the west by Middle Fork Nooksack River, and east by Baker River. These valley are at risk of such lahars in case of a new eruption.
The eruption in 1843 killed fish in Baker River, ignited forest and caused minor ash fall in nearby areas. Steam emissions continued at the Sherman Crater and Dorr fumarole field on the north flank until the 1940's and 1950's.
Background:Mount Baker is an andesitic stratovolcano constructed above the east flank of an older eroded volcano (Black Buttes volcano) and SW of the early Pleistocene 4.5 x 8 km rhyodacitic Kulshan caldera.
The Schreibers Meadow cinder cone on the SE flank erupted about 9800 years ago. All other historic activity within the past 10,000 years seem to have taken place on the summit vent. A major magmatic eruption at Mount Baker occurred about 6500 years ago. It was followed by caldera collapse and left large lahar deposits in the Nooksack river valley.
Features around Mt Baker volcanoBlack Buttes: An eroded rest of a former stratovolcano 3 km west of Mt. Baker.
Dorr Fumaroles: A field of fumaroles NE of the summit of Mt Baker.
Kulshan Caldera: A large caldera NE of the volcano formed by collapse of the magma chamber after a large ancient eruption.
Mazama Ash: Ash layers on the south flank of Mt Baker, probably deposited during an explosive eruption 6,000 years ago.
Schriebers Meadow Cinder Cone: A cinder cone which formed about 9,800 years ago, 100 m high and 750 m wide. A lava flow 11 km long was erupted from the same vent.
Sherman Crater: A lateral crater 800 south of the summit. It is partially filled with ice. Snow avalanches have descended down Boulder Glacier at least 6 times since 1958.