MOUNT RAINIER
GEOLOGY & WEATHER
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Good Morning!
Friday, February 23, 2024
Today is day 54 of 2024 and
day 146 of Water Year 2024
Welcome to morageology.com! This site is an externally-accessible clearing house of static, real-time, non-real-time, and archived Mount Rainier geologic and geomorphic data used for geohazard awareness and mitigation. All data provided on this site are publicly-accessible non-sensitive scientific information collected by geologists at Mount Rainier National Park. Individual datasets are provided here for informational use only and are not guaranteed to be accurate or final versions - all data should be considered provisional unless otherwise noted.
TODAY'S DEBRIS FLOW HAZARD
10-DAY FORECAST TREND:
LLLLLLLLLL
LATEST PARADISE WEATHER
As of: 02/23/2024 05:00 AM

27.6° F
Wind: NNW (334°) @ 3 G 6 mph
Snow Depth: 108 in (71% of normal)
24-hour Precip: 0.00 in

[ Observation | Forecast ]
LATEST LONGMIRE WEATHER
As of: 02/22/2024 05:00 PM

43.4° F
Snow Depth: 0 in (0% of normal)
24-hour Precip: 0.04 in

[ Observation | Forecast ]
WINDY.COM PRECIPITATION RADAR
MOUNT RAINIER VICINITY
FORECASTED SNOW PACK
AT PARADISE (5,400')
[ More Info ]
Mowich Face seen during an aerial reconnaissance flight (from a photo by Scott Beason on 02/10/2020)
LATEST EARTHQUAKES:
Earthquakes in the last 30 days near Mount Rainier
:
40

LAST 5 EARTHQUAKES:

  1. Wed, Feb 21, 2024, 16:56:26 GMT
    1 day 21 hours 1 minute 26 seconds ago
    0.661 km (0.410 mi) W of summit
    Magnitude: -0.7
    Depth 0.4 km (0.2 mi)
    View More Info

  2. Sun, Feb 18, 2024, 13:36:19 GMT
    5 days 21 minutes 33 seconds ago
    0.668 km (0.415 mi) SSW of summit
    Magnitude: 0.1
    Depth 0.8 km (0.5 mi)
    View More Info

  3. Sat, Feb 17, 2024, 18:49:44 GMT
    5 days 19 hours 8 minutes 7 seconds ago
    12.274 km (7.627 mi) W of summit
    Magnitude: 0.5
    Depth 10.7 km (6.6 mi)
    View More Info

  4. Sat, Feb 17, 2024, 11:31:14 GMT
    6 days 2 hours 26 minutes 37 seconds ago
    14.785 km (9.187 mi) WNW of summit
    Magnitude: 0.7
    Depth 12.4 km (7.7 mi)
    View More Info

  5. Fri, Feb 16, 2024, 10:43:06 GMT
    7 days 3 hours 14 minutes 45 seconds ago
    18.601 km (11.558 mi) SW of summit
    Magnitude: 1.0
    Depth 4.4 km (2.7 mi)
    View More Info

MISC:
Currently, this site has approximately
17,963,723
total data points in its database!
 
1 RANDOM PUBLICATION AND THE 5 LATEST PUBLICATIONS ADDED TO THE DATABASE:
  1. Beason (2017) Stream stage, stream temperature and air temperature for the Nisqually River at Longmire: Water year 2010
    Mount Rainier is a 4,392 m (14,410 ft) volcano in southwestern Washington State. Braided rivers radiate away from the volcano and are generally glacially-sourced. Approximately 4.17 km3 (1.0 mi3) of ice and perennial snows cover Mount Rainier (Driedger and Kennard, 1986). The mountain receives an average of 16.3 m (53.4 ft) of snow at Paradise and melting snow causes high flows in spring and summer months (NPS, 2011). Fall and winter storms lead to periodic flooding and higher flows. Generally, the lowest river flows occur late in the summer prior to the onset of fall storms and in the middle of winter. Most streams in the park exhibit a braiding or anastomosing character due to their glacial source, however, several of the lower order streams that have non-glacial sources exhibit pool-riffle morphology with very coarse median grain sizes. Average stream gradient ranges from 1 to 4%. The Nisqually River is one of six major stream networks that drain a significant portion of the volcano (the others being the Puyallup, Carbon, West Fork White, White, and Ohanapecosh). The Nisqually River watershed (Figure 1) begins at the Nisqually Glacier and ends at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, emptying into the Puget Sound. The Nisqually River at Longmire has a watershed size of 48.7 km2 (18.8 mi2), a mean basin elevation of 1,814 m (5,950 ft) and drains from the summit of Mount Rainier down to 853 m (2,800 ft) at Longmire (Table 1). The drainage basin includes three glaciers (Nisqually, Wilson and Van Trump Glaciers) and the permanent Muir Snowfield. Mean basin slope is 48.2% and has 39.0% canopy cover. Mean annual precipitation in the watershed is approximately 262 cm (103 in) (USGS Stream Stats, 2011). The Nisqually River’s headwaters start at the terminus of the Nisqually Glacier, at approximately 1,585 m (5,200 ft). From there, the river cascades down a steep braided stream with very coarse sediment. The river character is a classic braided system with multiple debris flow inputs from Van Trump Creek and other small streams. Stream gage data from the Nisqually River at Longmire within Mount Rainier National Park are presented for water year 2010 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010). The Longmire location is currently the only year-round stream gaging station in the park. Stream statistics are obtained via pressure transducers that are mounted within a stilling well at Longmire. Data were obtained at 15 minute intervals. Data were not available from October 1, 2009 – October 28, 2009, due to a stream gage malfunction. Data were obtained again on October 28, 2009 at 16:00 and have a continuous period of recording until the end of the water year. Stream gage data is useful for determining critical in-stream flows for aquatic habitats as well as showing the range of temperatures exhibited in park streams during the year.
  2. Hagen (2024) Weather Summary: Mount Rainier National Park - Water Year 2023
    The North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) Inventory and Monitoring Program monitors climate in order to compare current and historic data to understand long-term trends, to provide data to model future impacts to park facilities and resources, and to provide park staff with information needed to make management decisions. This brief summarizes climate data collected and notable weather events that occurred during water year 2023 in Mount Rainier National Park. Water year is defined as the period from October 1 to September 30 of the following year, to encompass a full cycle of precipitation accumulation.
  3. Hagen (2023) Weather Summary: Mount Rainier National Park - Water Year 2022
    The North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) Inventory and Monitoring Program monitors climate in order to compare current and historic data to understand long-term trends, to provide data to model future impacts to park facilities and resources, and to provide park staff with information needed to make management decisions. This brief summarizes climate data collected and notable weather events that occurred during water year 2022 in Mount Rainier National Park. Water year is defined as the period from October 1 to September 30 of the following year, to encompass a full cycle of precipitation accumulation.
  4. Hagen (2022) Weather Summary: Mount Rainier National Park - Water Year 2021
    The North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) Inventory and Monitoring Program monitors climate in order to compare current and historic data to understand long-term trends, to provide data to model future impacts to park facilities and resources, and to provide park staff with information needed to make management decisions. This brief summarizes climate data collected and notable weather events that occurred during water year 2021 in Mount Rainier National Park. Water year is defined as the period from October 1 to September 30 of the following year, to encompass a full cycle of precipitation accumulation.
  5. Jaeger (2024) Streamflow permanence in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
    Streams that flow throughout summer ("permanent" streams) provide critical habitat for aquatic species and serve as an important water supply. Streams that go dry seasonally or only flow after rainfall or snowmelt are a natural feature of mountain systems, including Mount Rainier National Park. However, in years with substantially less than normal snowfall, like 2015, more streams go dry, resulting in less water for Mount Rainier National Park infrastructure and unknown consequences for stream ecology.
  6. Conrick and Mass (2023) The influence of soil moisture on the historic 2021 Pacific Northwest heatwave
    During late June 2021, a record-breaking heatwave impacted western North America, with all-time high temperatures reported across Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alberta. The heatwave was forced by a highly anomalous upper-level ridge, strong synoptic-scale subsidence, and downslope flow resulting in lower-tropospheric adiabatic warming. This study examines the impact of antecedent soil moisture on this extreme heat event. During the cool season of 2020/21, precipitation over the Pacific Northwest was above or near normal, followed by a dry spring that desiccated soils to 50%–75% of normal moisture content by early June. Low surface soil moisture affects the surface energy balance by altering the partitioning between sensible and latent heat fluxes, resulting in warmer temperatures. Using numerical model simulations of the heatwave, this study demonstrates that surface air temperatures were warmed by an average of 0.48°C as a result of dry soil moisture conditions, compared to a high-temperature anomaly of 10°–20°C during the event. Air temperatures over eastern Washington and southern British Columbia were most sensitive to soil moisture anomalies, with 0000 UTC temperature anomalies ranging from 1.2° to 2.2°C. Trajectory analysis indicated that rapid subsidence of elevated parcels prevented air parcels from being affected by surface heat fluxes over a prolonged period of time, resulting in a relatively small temperature sensitivity to soil moisture. Changes to soil moisture also altered regional pressure, low-level wind, and geopotential heights, as well as modified the marine air intrusion along the Pacific coast of Washington and Oregon.

View More Publications...

LATEST UPDATES AND SITE NEWS:
August 5, 2019 Tahoma Creek Debris Flow
Posted on Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 17:00 by Scott Beason. Updated on Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 17:00

The 32nd recorded debris flow in Tahoma Creek occurred on August 5, 2019, between 6:44 PM PDT (8/6/2019 01:55 UTC) - 8:10 PM PDT (8/6/2019 03:10 UTC), as observed on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network's (PNSN) Emerald Ridge (RER) seismograph. The event began as a sudden and significant change in the primary outlet stream from the terminus of the South Tahoma Glacier. This change caused a surge of water to go over loose, steep and unconsolidated sediment-rich areas just downstream of the terminus. Debris flow deposits were observed approximately 4 miles downstream at the Tahoma Creek Trail trailhead (an area affectionally known in the park as 'barrel curve'). The event is still being investigated... a good photo set (with a few videos) is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mountrainiernps/sets/72157710161403356/. If you would like to view more information about the event, click here: http://www.morageology.com/geoEvent.php#145. If you were in the area of the South Tahoma Glacier or Tahoma Creek on the evening of August 5 and/or morning of August 6, and have any interesting observations, please send them to Scott Beason.

New Camp Schurman weather station added!
Posted on Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 14:17 by Scott Beason. Updated on Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 14:17

A new weather station has been added to morageology.com. Click the following link to see hourly data from Camp Schurman on the NE side of Mount Rainier's volcanic edifice at 9,500 feet: http://waterdata.morageology.com/station.php?g=MORAWXCS.

Longmire RSAM Down
Posted on Wed, Jul 10, 2019, 05:00 by Scott Beason. Updated on Wed, Jul 10, 2019, 05:00

The Longmire (LON) seismograph has been reporting ground vibrations from a construction project in the area near the seismograph. In order to prevent erroneous debris flow alerts, the RSAM (debris flow detection) analysis has been disabled. The system will be restored once the construction project has been completed.

LATEST CASCADES VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE:

CASCADES VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, January 5, 2024, 1:47 PM PST (Friday, January 5, 2024, 21:47 UTC)


CASCADE RANGE (VNUM #)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Activity Update: All volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington are at normal background activity levels. These include Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams in Washington State and Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Newberry, and Crater Lake in Oregon.

Past Week Observations: During the past week, small earthquakes were detected at Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. All monitoring data are consistent with background activity levels in the Cascades Range.



The U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory and the University of Washington Pacific Northwest Seismic Network continue to monitor Washington and Oregon volcanoes closely and will issue additional notifications as warranted.

Website Resources

For images, graphics, and general information on Cascade Range volcanoes: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/cvo
For seismic information on Oregon and Washington volcanoes: http://www.pnsn.org/volcanoes
For information on USGS volcano alert levels and notifications: https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/volcano-notifications-deliver-situational-information



CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jon Major, Scientist-in-Charge, Cascades Volcano Observatory, jjmajor@usgs.gov

General inquiries: vhpweb@usgs.gov