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Mount Mazama - Oregon's Lost Volcano

Mount Mazama in Oregon is 8,157 feet tall and last erupted in 2850 B.C. It's part of the Pacific Northwest's beautiful Cascade Range. Today, it's best known for holding Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park.



Mount Mazama and Crater Lake National Park

Mount Mazama is an extinct volcano that last erupted in 2,850 B.C. Upon its collapse, it formed the Crater Lake caldera which later filled with water.


The mountain is part of Crater Lake National Park, the only national park in Oregon. Today, Crater Lake sees more than 750,000 visitors a year to its hiking trails, which are suitable for hikers in all four seasons.





Facts about Pacific Northwest Volcanoes

Facts about Pacific Northwest Volcanoes


Mount Mazama Eruption

Scientists believe that Mount Mazama's cataclysmic eruption occurred 7,000 years ago.


It began with the eruption of a vent on the mountain's north side that produced an incredible 30-mile-high ash column. It's believed that this kind of ash cloud could've stretched across eight states and far into Canada.

Did you know? Ash from Mount Mazama's eruption is used to measure relative age around the US and Canada.

The weight of the eruptive material pushed down Mazama's summit until it subsided and openings formed around it.


A view of Crater Lake and the remnants of Mount Mazama
A view of Crater Lake and the remnants of Mount Mazama



Mount Mazama Before Eruption

Mount Mazama erupted more than 7,500 years ago, forming what's today known as Crater Lake.

Did you know? Before erupting, Mount Mazama was around 12,000 feet tall.

After erupting, the mountain's height was dramatically reduced to 8,157 feet by more than a mile. The lake inside the caldera is famous as the deepest freshwater body of water in the U.S. and the second deepest in North America.



Fun Facts about Mount Mazama

Mount Mazama is an incredible example of the destructive nature of volcanic eruptions! Keep reading to explore some fun facts about the peak:

A view of the crater rim of Mount Mazama
A view of the crater rim of Mount Mazama

  1. Before erupting, the mountain was around 12,000 feet tall.

  2. After erupting, it shrunk by more than a mile.

  3. The Mount Mazama eruption formed a caldera.

  4. The Mount Mazama caldera filled with water and became Crater Lake.

  5. Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon.










FAQs

What caused Mount Mazama to erupt?

Mount Mazama erupted due to an increase in the amount of silicic magma beneath the volcano. Lava flows occurred in the thousands of years leading up to the eruption that created Crater Lake.


How tall was Mount Mazama?

Mount Mazama was, scientists believe, around 12,000 feet tall before it erupted. More than a mile of height was demolished during the eruptive event.


How tall is Mount Mazama now?

Today, Mount Mazama is around 8,157 feet tall. Although it doesn't look quite as impressive due to its caldera filled with incredibly deep water.


What lake in Oregon was created about 7,000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Mazama?

Crater Lake was created about 7,000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Mazama.



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