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Mount Shasta has erupted, on the average, at least once per 800 years during the last 10,000 years, and about once per 600 years during the last 4,500 years. The last known eruption occurred about 200 radiocarbon years ago. Eruptions during the last 10,000 years produced lava flows and domes on and around the flanks of Mount Shasta, and pyroclastic flows from summit and flank vents extended as far as 20 kilometers from the summit. Most of these eruptions also produced large mudflows, many of which reached more than several tens of kilometers from Mount Shasta. Future eruptions like those of the past could endanger the communities of Weed, Mount Shasta, McCloud, and Dunsmuir, located at or near the base of Mount Shasta. Such eruptions will most likely produce deposits of lithic ash, lava flows, domes, and pyroclastic flows. Lava flows and pyroclastic flows may affect low-and flat-lying ground almost anywhere within about 20 kilometers of the summit of Mount Shasta, and mudflows may cover valley floors and other low areas as much as several tens of kilometers from the volcano. On the basis of its past behavior, Mount Shasta is not likely to erupt large volumes of pumiceous ash in the future; areas subject to the greatest risk from air-fall tephra are located mainly east and within about 50 kilometers of the summit of the volcano. The degree of risk from air-fall tephra decreases progressively as the distance from the volcano increases.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Potential hazards from future eruptions in the vicinity of Mount Shasta Volcano, Northern California
U.S. Geological Survey
Cascades Volcano Observatory, Volcano Science Center
Report: vii, 43 p.; 3 Plates: 35.50 x 40.0 inches or smaller