BackgroundMount Rainier is a typical andesitic stratovolcano. It has produced large lahars and debris avalanches. Its present summit was built within a large crater breached to the northeast formed by collapse of the volcano during a major explosive eruption about 5600 years ago, that produced the widespread Osceola Mudflow.
Mt Rainier's eruptive history has been studied in detail. It includes about a dozen major eruptions during the past 2600 years, the largest of which occurred about 2200 years ago.
The present-day summit cone is cut by two overlapping craters. Extensive hydrothermal activity is present in the summit craters. It has produced melting of glacial ice created a complex system of steam caves found in the summit icecap.
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8
Prominent features on and around Mt. RainierSummit of Mt Rainier:
There are 3 peaks: Columbia Crest at 14,158 feet (4315 m), Point Success at 14,158 feet (4315 m), and Liberty Cap at 14,112 feet (4301 m). Little Tahoma (11,138 ft / 3395 m) is a small peak located on the eastern flank of the volcano.
Camp Muir: A stone shelter cabin located at ca. 10,000 ft.
Camp Hazard: A campsite is located at 11,600 ft below Ice Cliff.
Carbon Glacier: The thickest and 3rd largest of Mt Rainier. Its terminus is at 3,500 ft. It is 5.7 miles long and 700 ft thick.
Russell Glacier: a tributary to the Carbon Glacier on the north side.
Cowlitz Glacier: The Cowlitz-lngraham Glacier advanced from the mid-1970's until the mid-1980's, but is currently thinning and retreating.
Echo Rock: an old volcanic vent on the NW flank.
Emmons Glacier: a large glacier on the eastern slope of the mountian. In 1963, a rockfall from Little Tahoma Peak covered the lower glacier with rock debris. The debris cover insulates the ice from melting. As a result of decreased melting, the glacier advanced rapidly in the early 1980's. That advance is still continuing today, but at a slower rate.
Nisqually Glacier: The glacier can be viewed from Nisqually and Glacier Vistas located less than 1 mile from the Paradise visitor facilities.
Winthrop Glacier: the second largest glacier on Mount Rainier, with an area of 3.5 square miles.