The Osceola MudFlow – With Nick on the Rocks


5,600 years ago, the summit of Mt Rainier stood 1,000 feet (304 m) higher than today. Then came a giant eruption and the side of the volcano failed, sending a wall of mud careening down the White River Valley all the way to Tacoma and Puget Sound, 40 miles away.



Originally published on Jan 19, 2017

Known as the Osceola MudFlow, up to 500 feet of “liquid cement,” as Nick puts it, shot down the valley at speeds up to 50 miles an hour to creat the Enumclaw Plain by burying the Puget Lowland with hundreds of feet of volcanic mud.

Today, the plain is home to more than 500,000 people.

Nick Zentner is the science outreach and education coordinator for the Department of Geological Sciences at Central Washington University. He has produced more than 40 short videos about Central Washington geology.



2 thoughts on “The Osceola MudFlow – With Nick on the Rocks”

  1. Using Google Maps the mud flow from the east face traveling via the White River path traveled a distance of approximately ~106 kilometres or ~66 miles.

    A direct route from the west side is ~73 kilometres or ~45 miles.

    If a mud flow from the east crater had similar momentum the devastation would be significantly more intense – not only because of the shorter distance but also because an almost straight linear path may be possible – the east flow turned through ~180° losing significant momentum via this process.

    How come alarmists are so concerned about sea level rises of ~1 foot per century they create such emotion that, for example, insurance companies increase their inundation policy costs when at any time a known event could occur which could potentially destroy several urban areas perhaps even Seattle ?

    As I recall a large eruption occurred in 1980 which Wikipedia describes as “as the most disastrous volcanic eruption in United States history” despite the resulting mud flow being
    a “mere” half the distance of this event .

    Notice the same old scam in Wikipedia’s description – the words “United States history”. Of course this event – the Osceola MudFlow – did not occur in the United States.

    Just like the “hottest year on record” stories. Simply ignore the fact that your use of the word “record” means less than 100 years out of several billion – the gullibles will buy it.

    This could happen anytime – or not.

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