The potential for damaging earthquakes, landslides, floods, tsunamis, and wildfires is widely recognized in California. The same cannot be said for volcanic eruptions, despite the fact that they occur in the state about as frequently as the largest earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault. At least ten eruptions have taken place in the past 1,000 years, and future volcanic eruptions are inevitable.The
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Mt. Shasta is a majestic, steep-sided stratovolcano located about 97 km (60 mi) north of Redding along the I-5 corridor in Northern California. It is the most voluminous of all the Cascade Range volcanoes, and the towns of Weed, Mt Shasta City, and McCloud lie in the shadow of its 4,317 m (14,163 ft) high snow- and ice-clad edifice.
Location: California, Siskiyou County
Latitude: 41.409° N
Longitude: 122.193° W
Elevation: 4,317 (m) 14,163 (f)
Volcano type: Stratovolcano
Composition: andesite, dacite
Most recent eruption: ~3,200 years ago
Nearby towns: Weed, Mount Shasta, Edgewood, Dunsmuir
Threat Potential: Very High*
*based on the National Volcano Early Warning System
Mount Shasta began forming on the remnants of an older, similar volcano that collapsed 300,000 to 500,000 years ago. The collapse spawned one of the largest landslides known on Earth, covering more than 440 km2 (170 mi2) of Shasta Valley to the northeast. Activity over the last 300,000 years includes long intervals of quiet interrupted by shorter spans of frequent eruptions. Eruptions at about 11,000 years ago built Black Butte and Shastina on the western flanks of Mount Shasta. In the last few millennia, smaller eruptions have broken out at the volcano’s summit and from vents on its upper east flank. The youngest dated eruption occurred about 3,200 years ago, producing block and ash flows on the volcano's north flank. Hot springs and volcanic gases seep from the summit indicating a relatively young and still-hot system. Non-volcanic shedding of young volcanic rock and ash from Mount Shasta’s steep slopes occurs during heavy rainfall or glacial floods. In the last 1,000 years, more than 70 mudflows have inundated stream channels. The record of eruptions over the last 10,000 years suggests that, on average, at least one eruption occurs every 800 to 600 years at Mt Shasta. USGS and UNAVCO seismic and geodetic networks provide real-time volcano monitoring data. Earthquake activity has been low for the last few decades and ground deformation is negligible.