Volcanic activity in the Crater Lake National Park area is caused by subduction off of Oregon's coast. The resulting Compression and heat generated has led to the creation of the Cascade Range, a chain of mountains capped by a string of volcanoes. The range's large volcanoes are known as the High Cascades. There are several other smaller volcanoes in addition to these larger ones.
Mount Mazama came into existence nearly 400,000 years ago as an overlapping shield volcano, in a similar way as the other volcanoes that make up the High Cascades. Interspersing layers of Pyroclastic flows and lava flows created Mazama's overlaying cones over time until the volcano reached a height of around 11,000 feet. As the stratovolcano grew, several volcanic vents and smaller volcanoes were created within what is now Crater Lake National Park, as well as just outside the park's perimeter. Cinder cones were chief among these volcanoes. These early cinder cones are now gone, however, thirteen or so younger cinder cones can be found within the park, and about eleven at least outside of its borders.
Mazama became dormant for some time, but became active again. Around 5,700 BC, the volcano collapsed into itself during a massive volcanic eruption, losing 2,500 feet to 3,500 feet in height. A massive caldera was created from the eruption. The result was the beautiful blue lake now called Crater Lake.
A wide variety of animals call Crater Lake National Park home. Animals residents of the park include black bears, timber wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, cougars, Canadian lynxes, elk, deer, pikas, chipmunks, beavers, martens, porcupines, squirrels, and muskrats. Many different birds can also be found within the park, such as bald eagles, spotted owls, Peregrine falcons, American dippers, Clark's nutcrackers, ravens, Canada geese, gray jays, and hummingbirds. Photo: fotos2sell/Fotolia
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