Saturday, December 29, 2018

Jökulhlaup at Mount Shasta in 2014

Looks like a lahar popped out from under one of the glaciers up on the peak.

This is quite interesting, and only about 60 miles from where I'm currently working.

U.S. Forest Service scientists say they believe the mudslide was triggered by water released from the Konwakiton Glacier, the fifth-largest of seven glaciers that sit high up on Mount Shasta, a 14,163-foot dormant volcano that towers over California’s northernmost counties.

At the time, the news reported it this way:

U.S. Forest Service crews on Mount Shasta were dealing Monday with mud flowing from a melting glacier that covered two roads and a bridge in muck, logs and rocks and forced a mountain creek out of its banks.
Mount Shasta's Mud Creek -- pushed out of its channel by Saturday's mud flow-- was flowing instead Monday over one of two Forest Service roads that have been made impassable by the weekend surge of wet earth and debris, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Andrea Capps said.
Road crews worked Monday to clear the road of a thick layer of mud and unplug a bridge dammed by debris and mud, Capps said.
Saturday's mud flow happened when a tip broke off a glacier midway up Mount Shasta. Most of the mud, trees and rocks stayed within the channel of Mud Creek except when the mud flow hit bridges or other obstacles, Capp said.
Here's a video a local took of the mud flow coming down the creek.  The sound of the boulders rumbling along is interesting.
Imagine what would happen if there was a real eruption in the spring, when the snow pack was heaviest?


  1. Never saw a mud flow, very interesting. If that mud slows, will it fill up the creek bed and when water starts up, especially in the spring will the creek overflow the banks or will the water scour out the mud?

  2. Maybe they need to wait on clearing the mud until the mud STOPS flowing. Volcanos are tricky monsters. I recall traveling to Mt. St. Helens about ten years after the eruption. EVERY TREE was blown down and burned, or just 'gone' for sixty miles out. At the time, USFS was replanting saplings.

    Mt. Shasta (memorable because it was on soda cans when I was a kid), Mt. Lassen and the rest of the ring of fire could still light off in the way that Mt. St. Helens did - or Yellowstone may go.

    1. Lassen's most recent eruption was in 1915.

  3. Yep. Shasta is doing in slow motion what Helens did all of a sudden. If it blows, look for devastation about twice what Helens did.

    And, LL, I, too, remember Shasta sodas. They were pretty darned good. Actually had a grape flavor that was palatable, and their root beer, while not A&W, was still awesome.

  4. The power of flowing water mixed with mud is amazing. Moving those bolder that most men couldn't pick up like they were marbles. Mother Nature be da man.

  5. Kinda reminds me of my ex's failed attempts at gravy... complete with lumps and bits of "mystery meat"...........