Crater Lake, Oregon
November 12, 1945
A fire lookout peering from Watchman Peak saw the calm blue water, 1,850 ft. below, emit a giant belch. A cloud of smoke — or dust-filled gas — billowed out of the deep water, rose high in the air.
It was eight weeks ago that Oregon’s famed Crater Lake began its un-lakelike burps. Two days later, a second dust-bubble broke from the surface. The third, two weeks later, formed a cloud 300 ft. wide. Tourists began to flock to the lake to watch. After the road was closed for the winter, in late October, the lake uttered yet one more eructation.
Instead of a scenic lake, Oregonians feared that they might have a scenic volcano on their hands. Said Professor Howel Williams, leading volcanologist : “Renewed activity is not out of the question.” Crater Lake was formed some 10,000 years ago, when 12,000-ft. Mt. Mazama blew its top. The eruption covered 5,000-odd square miles of Oregon with pumice six inches deep. Incandescent avalanches fried the Klamath Plateau for 25 miles around the vent. Seventeen cubic miles of rock were blasted to smithereens.
About 5,000 years later, a lesser eruption produced a 3,000-foot “pup volcano” which now projects from Crater Lake, forming Wizard Island. If another active period is beginning, it may raise another pup. But a full-size volcano is unlikely.