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Glaciers of Mount Rainier
Rocks of Mount Rainier




The earliest geological observations on the structure of Mount Rainier were made in 1870 by S. F. Emmons, of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. The rock specimens collected at this time were studied later by Messrs. Hague and Iddings, of the United States Geological Survey.1 This petrographical study showed that "Mount Rainier is formed almost wholly of hypersthene-andesite, with different conditions of groundmass and accompanied by hornblende and olivine in places." The only other petrographical study of these volcanics is that of Mr. K. Oebbeke, of Munich,2 upon a small collection made on Mount Rainier by Professor Zittel in 1883.

1Am. Jour. Sci., 3d series, vol. XXVI, 1883, pp. 222-235.
2Neues Jahrbuch für Min., etc., vol. I, 1885, pp. 222-226.

On the reconnaissance trips on the northern and eastern slopes of Mount Rainier, during the seasons of 1895 and 1896, the writer had opportunity to make some general observations on the rocks of this mountain, and the petrographical material then collected has since been studied. The observations and collections were of necessity limited, both by the reconnaissance character of the examination and by the mantle of snow and ice which covers so large a part of this volcanic cone.

Two classes of rock are to be discussed as occurring on Mount Rainier: the lavas and pyroclastics which compose the volcanic cone and the granitic rocks forming the platform upon which the volcano was built up.

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2006