Summit Firn Caves, Mount Rainier, Washington

Science  23 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3994, pp. 320-322
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3994.320


Heat and steam from the crater fumaroles have melted over 5700 feet (1737 meters) of cave passage in the ice-filled east crater of Mount Rainier. The caves are in approximate balance with the present geothermal heat release. Future changes in the thermal activity of the summit cone will cause corresponding changes in cave passage dimensions, location, and ceiling and wall ablation features.