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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

Recent debris flows at Mount Rainier

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Author(s): Carolyn L. Driedger, Joseph S. Walder

Document Type: Open-File Report 91-242
Publisher: United States Geological Survey
Published Year: 1991
Pages: 2
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Mount Rainier is a young volcano whose slopes are undergoing rapid change by a variety of geologic processes, including debris flows. Debris flows are churning masses of water, rock and mud that travel rapidly down the volcano's steep, glacially carved valleys, leaving in their wake splintered trees, picnic sites buried in mud, and damaged roads.

Debris flows at Mount Rainier are most frequently caused by unusually high streamflows that mobilize large volumes of loose rock and soil. Indeed, debris flows typically contain as much as 65-70 percent rock and soil by volume and have the appearance of wet concrete. These flows invariably begin in remote areas nearly inaccessible to people, but may move rapidly downstream into areas frequented by visitors.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Driedger and Walder (1991) or (Driedger and Walder, 1991)

References Citation:
Driedger, C.L. and J.S. Walder, 1991, Recent debris flows at Mount Rainier: Open-File Report 91-242, United States Geological Survey, 2 p..