Crater Lake was discovered in 1853 by a few miners from California. After being forgotten, rediscovered and renamed from “Deep Blue Lake” to “Lake Majesty”, Crater Lake finally captured its name by a newspaper editor Jim Sutton. Although Crater Lake was discovered in 1865, it was created over 7,000 years prior to its discovery. Crater Lake was not always Crater Lake either, but was once Mount Mazma, a stratovolcano, which once stood roughly 12,000 feet high. Crater Lake is constructed of different types of volcanic rock, has been a part of different eruptions and has had much activity since it was once Mount Mazma. Due to the volcanic threats that are still provided from the lake and its surrounding cinder cones, hazard mitigation, monitoring and monitoring is vital to nearby locations. All of these important topics will be discussed further in the continuing paragraphs.
Before Crater Lake was indeed Crater Lake, it was once a 12,000 foot high stratovolcano known as Mount Mazma. Mt. Mazma was created from overlapping shield and composite volcanoes during the past 400,000 years. Mount Mazma was a very active volcano to say the least with its first lavas and pyroclastic rock created 400,000 years ago followed by lava flows, lava sheets and small pyroclastic explosions creating small cinder cones, lava fields and small shield volcanoes close by. The rocks that were involved were mainly basalt, mafic andesite, andesite, dacite and in the later years rhyodacite. About 50,000 years ago is when much of the activity had calmed down with Mount Mazma. As the complexity of the volcano continued to grow so did the silica content in the magma and the viscosity of the lava. Both of these trap explosive gases which later developed more explosive eruptions (between 40,000- 25,000 years ago). Grouse Hill and Redcloud Cliff are two lava flows that erupted during this period. After being dormant for the next 17,000 years, glaciers began cutting into the sides of the volcano and the volcano’s silicic rocks began piling toward the surface (the top of the volcanic conduit). About 7,900 years ago the lava flow Llao Rock was created, followed by another thick lava flow that erupted where what is now Cleetwood Cove. These events eventually led to the most important eruption involving the creation of what is now known as Crater Lake.
About 7,000 years ago the largest eruption within the Cascades and was one of the largest explosions in 10,000 years. After many smaller explosions and one ruinous eruption in which the top of the volcano blew off and avalanches of ash, dust and lava poured down the slopes of Mount Mazma. The magma chambered emptied to the point where the top of the mountain could not support itself and collapsed into a large depression. The eruption known as the “climactic eruption” that created the depression had two stages. The first stage was a Plinian eruption column where pumice and ash spread out around the...