Mount Jefferson has erupted repeatedly for hundreds of thousands of years, with its last eruptive episode during the last major glaciation which culminated about 15,000 years ago. Geologic evidence shows that Mount Jefferson is capable of large explosive eruptions. The largest such eruption occurred between 35,000 and 100,000 years ago. If Mount Jefferson erupts again, areas close to the eruptive vent will be severely affected, and even areas tens of kilometers (tens of miles) downstream along river valleys or hundreds of kilometers (hundreds of miles) downwind may be at risk. Numerous small volcanoes occupy the area between Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood to the north, and between Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters region to the south. These small volcanoes tend not to pose the far-reaching hazards associated with Mount Jefferson, but are nonetheless locally important. A concern at Mount Jefferson, but not at the smaller volcanoes, is the possibility that small-to-moderate sized landslides could occur even during periods of no volcanic activity. Such landslides may transform as they move into lahars (watery flows of rock, mud, and debris) that can inundate areas far downstream.
The geographic information system (GIS) volcano hazard data layer used to produce the Mount Jefferson volcano hazard map in USGS Open-File Report 99-24 (Walder and others, 1999) is included in this data set. Both proximal and distal hazard zones were delineated by scientists at the Cascades Volcano Observatory and depict various volcano hazard areas around the mountain.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards in the Mount Jefferson Region, Oregon