MOUNT RAINIER

Active Cascade Volcano

Research Strategies for Mitigating Risk from a High, Snow-Clad Volcano in a Populous Region

U.S. Geodynamics Committee

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1994



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MOUNT RAINIER Active Cascade Volcano Research Strategies for Mitigating Risk from a High, Snow-Clad Volcano in a Populous Region U.S. Geodynamics Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1994

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Geological Survey. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-66300 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05083-9 Copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) Cover photograph of Mount Rainier courtesy of Richard S. Fiske, Smithsonian Institution. Frontispiece lithograph of Mount Rainier is from the expedition of Captain George Vancouver to northwestern America in 1790-1795. The lithograph appeared in the three-volume work A voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World, which was published in 1798 by G. G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row, and J. Edwards, Pall-Mall. Courtesy of the Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries (negative number 8184). Copyright © 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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U.S. GEODYNAMICS COMMITTEE ROBIN BRETT, U.S. Geological Survey, Chair DON L. ANDERSON, California Institute of Technology KEVIN T. BIDDLE, Exxon Exploration Company MARK P. CLOOS, University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM DICKINSON, University of Arizona RICHARD S. FISKE, Smithsonian Institution RAYMOND JEANLOZ, University of California, Berkeley KENNETH LARNER, Colorado School of Mines ELIZABETH MILLER, Stanford University LYNN M. WALTER, University of Michigan ROBERT S. YEATS, Oregon State University Former Members Whose Terms Expired During the Reporting Period T. MARK HARRISON, University of California, Los Angeles WILLIAM J. HINZE, Purdue University JOHN C. MUTTER, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory ROBERT A. PHINNEY, Princeton University SIGMUND SNELSON, Shell Oil Company Workshop Organizers/Working Group Report Editors THOMAS J. CASADEVALL, U.S. Geological Survey STEPHEN D. MALONE, University of Washington DONALD A. SWANSON, U.S. Geological Survey National Research Council Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Program Officer BRUCE B. HANSHAW, Program Officer SHELLEY A. MYERS, Project Assistant

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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES J. FREEMAN GILBERT, University of California, San Diego, Chair GAIL M. ASHLEY, Rutgers University THURE CERLING, University of Utah MARK P. CLOOS, University of Texas at Austin NEVILLE G. W. COOK, University of California, Berkeley JOEL DARMSTADTER, Resources for the Future DONALD J. DEPAOLO, University of California, Berkeley MARCO T. EINAUDI, Stanford University NORMAN H. FOSTER, Independent Petroleum Geologist, Denver CHARLES G. GROAT, Louisiana State University DONALD C. HANEY, University of Kentucky ANDREW H. KNOLL, Harvard University PHILIP E. LAMOREAUX, P.E. LaMoreaux and Associates, Inc. SUSAN LANDON, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver MARCIA K. McNUTT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology J. BERNARD MINSTER, University of California, San Diego JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University EDWARD C. ROY, JR., Trinity University National Research Council Staff JONATHAN G. PRICE, Staff Director THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Associate Staff Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Senior Program Officer KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Program Officer BRUCE B. HANSHAW, Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Program Officer LALLY A. ANDERSON, Staff Assistant CHARLENE E. ANDERSON, Administrative Assistant JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant SHELLEY A. MYERS, Project Assistant

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, The Johns Hopkins University, Chair PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt/Clemson University RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston THOMAS A. SCHELLING, University of Maryland LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center National Research Council Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE A. SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate ROBIN ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The U.S. Geodynamics Committee wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the many scientists who made this report possible. Tom Casadevall, Steve Malone, Barbara Samora, and Don Swanson published two articles in EOS in 1992 and 1993 that focused the interest of the volcanological community on Mount Rainier1. The committee used the information in these articles to develop this report. At the committee-sponsored workshop in 1992, Russell Blong, John Delaney, John Dvorak, Al Eggers, Peter Frenzen, Gary Machlis, Peter May, Patrick Pringle, Barbara Samora, Dal Stanley, and Ed Wolfe developed the working group reports that the committee used to prepare the present report. The working group reports were collated and edited by Tom Casadevall, Steve Malone, and Don Swanson, who also planned, organized, and ran the workshop on behalf of the committee. The committee is pleased to acknowledge the University of Washington and U.S. Geological Survey for their support of the workshop. The Committee also thanks the U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Geological Survey, whose continuing support of the committee made this report possible. 1   Swanson, D. A., Malone, S. D., and Samora, B. A., 1992, Mount Rainier: a Decade Volcano: EOS, v. 73, p. 177, 185-186; Swanson, D. A., Malone, S. D., and Casadevall, T., 1993, Mitigating the hazards of Mount Rainier: EOS, v. 74 (12), p. 133.

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PREFACE The United Nations designated the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR; United Nations Resolution 42/169/1987). The objective of the IDNDR is to reduce threats to human life and development from natural hazards through the application of science and technology. The Science and Technical Committee of IDNDR has endorsed the concept of Demonstration Projects-focused scientific studies of specific natural hazards such as volcanoes-to meet this objective. The designation of Volcano Demonstration Projects for the IDNDR is being coordinated by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), one of the seven associations comprising the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. To date, IAVCEI has designated 14 Decade Volcanoes, including Mount Rainier, for focused study. These volcanoes represent a variety of eruptive styles and potential hazards. They are generally located in accessible, populated regions and are geologically active but not well studied. Scientific research on these volcanoes is likely to improve the understanding of potential hazards in similar environments worldwide. Mount Rainier was selected as a Decade Volcano for several reasons. It has an extensive but poorly studied geological and historical record of activity, including lava flows, ash eruptions, avalanches, and mudflows. The volcano thus poses a hazard to surrounding, highly populated regions, particularly the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. It poses an additional hazard because of its extensive cover of snow and ice, which, if melted rapidly, could produce catastrophic floods and mudflows. Study of the volcano as a Decade Volcano Demonstration Project is likely to improve the understanding of these hazards and, concomitantly, to reduce risks to life and property in the region. As a first step in developing a Volcano Demonstration Project for Mount Rainier, the U.S. Geodynamics Committee sponsored a workshop to draft a research plan for the volcano. A three-day workshop was held at the University of Washington, Seattle, on September 18-20, 1992, and

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involved about 75 earth scientists, experts in natural hazards and mitigation, and representatives of government agencies. The first two days of the workshop were devoted to a review of the geology and geophysical setting of Mount Rainier and surrounding regions and included a field trip to the volcano. On the third day of the workshop, participants formed six working groups to draft a science plan for the volcano. This working group document was edited by the workshop organizers and was used by the U.S. Geodynamics Committee to prepare the present report. This report presents a science plan for the study of Mount Rainier as a Decade Volcano Demonstration Project and addresses the application of scientific results to the assessment of volcanic hazards and mitigation of risk. Although the science plan focuses primarily on research needed to understand the development and behavior of the volcano and to monitor potential hazards, the committee recognizes that scientific research alone will not advance the goals of the IDNDR program to mitigate risk from volcanic hazards. Accordingly, this report also addresses issues of communication and coordination among geoscientists, social scientists, planners, and responsible authorities, so that the results of this research can be used to support hazard reduction efforts. This link between research and application is an essential element of the IDNDR program. The present report reflects many of the ideas of the workshop participants and organizers. However, the U.S. Geodynamics Committee accepts all responsibility for the report's content and recommendations.

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CONTENTS 1   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     Introduction   1     Research   4     Volcano Monitoring   5     Mitigation   6     Implementation,   9 2   MOUNT RAINIER, ACTIVE CASCADE VOLCANO   11     Volcanic Hazards at Mount Rainier   15     Recommendations   35 3   DEVELOPMENT AND HISTORY OF MOUNT RAINIER   36     Regional Setting and History   37     Development of the Volcanic Edifice   41     Regional Studies to Assess Volcanic Hazards   46     Hazard Studies   55     Recommendations   58 4   VOLCANO MONITORING   62     Seismicity Monitoring   63     Monitoring of Ground Deformation,   66     Monitoring of Hydrothermal Activity   69     Monitoring Changes in Surface Appearance,   70     Detection of Stream Flow and Debris Flows   73     Recommendations   74

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5   MITIGATION: COEXISTING WITH MOUNT RAINER   76     Communication   77     Planning and Implementation   80     Recommendations   86 6   IMPLEMENTATION   89     REFERENCES   92 APPENDIX A.   GROWTH MANAGEMENT ACT OF STATE OF WASHINGTON   104 APPENDIX B.   SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND COLLECTING IN MOUNT RAINER NATIONAL PARK   109 APPENDIX C.   WORKSHOP ATTENDEES   112