Mount Wrangell

Mount Wrangell, in Ahtna K’ełt’aeni or K’ełedi when erupting, is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over 220 cubic miles (920 km3), making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the largest stratovolcano by volume in the Cascades. It is part of the Wrangell Volcanic Field, which extends for more than 250 kilometers (160 mi) across Southcentral Alaska into the Yukon Territory, and has an eruptive history spanning the time from Pleistocene to Holocene.

Modern Mount Wrangell, built upon the remnants of a mid-Pleistocene volcano, has an eruptive history spanning from 750,000 years ago to minor phreatic eruptions in 1884. The shield volcano features an ice-filled caldera 2.5 by 3.7 miles (4 by 6 km) in diameter at the top of Wrangell’s broad summit. The caldera was apparently formed by subsidence rather than large explosive eruptions. The caldera is in turn rimmed by three small craters, which often display fumarolic activity with steam plumes that can sometimes be seen from a distance. The main summit is on the north side of the caldera, while the west summit rises to 14,013 feet (4,271 m). The summit region above 13,000 feet (4,000 m) in elevation is over 2 by 5 miles (3 by 8 km) in size. A very large cinder cone, 13,009-foot (3,965 m) Mount Zanetti, rises nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) above the northwest flank of Wrangell and is the source of some lava flows.

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