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Geological History of Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake

by Belle Meyer

So still, so peaceful, placid-blue,

Guarding a monarch's grave from view;

No sound but breathless silence -- deep,

Nor rippling waves disturb his sleep,

Mazama's gone! but in his wake,

A lovely jewelled sapphire lake,

Born of chaos, fire and smoke,

Turbulent nature didst invoke

Mazama's fall -- that thou shouldst be --

Silent, mysterious sapphire sea.

In this section we focus on the broad and overall geologic history of Crater Lake National Park from the regional geologic formation to the formation of Mt. Mazama, the eruption of Mount Mazama and formation of the Crater Lake caldera and to the present day.

An excellent and, brief, description of Crater Lake National Park's geologic history is available through Mount Mazama and Crater Lake: Growth and Destruction of a Cascade Volcano (USGS Fact Sheet, 2002) and Geologic History and Formation of Crater Lake. (United States Geologic Service Crater Lake Data Clearinghouse Website). And, a more detailed discussion can be found in Howell Williams' article, Crater Lake Area Field Trip: The Geology of Crater Lake National Park (Lunar Geological Field Conference Guide Book, Howell Williams, 1966).

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