Abstract

The most recent eruptive period of Mount Hood volcano, the Old Maid eruptive period, was characterized by volcano-hydrologic events (hydrologic events initiated by volcanic activity) which resulted in extensive lahar inundation in the White, Sandy, and Zigzag River drainages and produced a lithic pyroclastic flow which traveled at least 9 km down the White River from the vent area at Crater Rock. Interpretations of downstream textural changes in deposits indicate that one lahar reached as far as Tygh Valley (65 km from the vent) before transforming into a lahar runout (hyperconcentrated flow). The runout inundated Tygh Valley and flowed into the Deschutes River, 75 km (flow path) from the volcano. A single lahar traveled more than 30 km down the Sandy River before transforming to a runout. Correlative sands and gravels are found as far as the apex of the Sandy River delta, more than 80 km from the volcano; these suggest that the flow underwent minimal attenuation of stage height throughout the length of Sandy River. Approximate dates ranging from 1760 A.D. to 1810 A.D. for various Old Maid-age events are inferred from dendrochronologic studies of old growth trees. There have been no apparent major topographic changes in the vent area since the end of Old Maid-age activity, enabling the events of the Old Maid eruptive period to be used as a model for future eruptive activity.

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