The San Francisco volcanic field is an area of volcanoes in northern Arizona, north of Flagstaff, USA. The field covers 1,800 square miles (4,700 km²) of the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. The field contains 600 volcanoes ranging in age from nearly 6 million years old to less than 1,000 years (Miocene to Holocene), of which Sunset Crater is the youngest. The highest peak in the field is Humphreys Peak, at Flagstaff's northern perimeter: the peak is Arizona's highest at 12,633 feet (3,851 m) and is a part of the San Francisco Peaks, an extinct stratovolcano complex.
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.
The volcanic field seems to have formed from a geological hotspot. As the North American plate moves over the spot, new volcanoes appear. Thus, the newest volcanoes are at the east side of the field. Most of the volcanoes are basalt cinder cones, but there are also large lava domes consisting of rhyolite and dacite.
In geology, the places known as hotspots or hot spots are volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the surrounding mantle. Their position on the Earth's surface is independent of tectonic plate boundaries. There are two hypotheses that attempt to explain their origins. One suggests that hotspots are due to mantle plumes that rise as thermal diapirs from the core–mantle boundary. The other hypothesis is that lithospheric extension permits the passive rising of melt from shallow depths. This hypothesis considers the term "hotspot" to be a misnomer, asserting that the mantle source beneath them is, in fact, not anomalously hot at all. Well-known examples include the Hawaii, Iceland and Yellowstone hotspots.
Basalt is a mafic extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich lava exposed at or very near the surface of a terrestrial planet or a moon. More than 90% of all volcanic rock on Earth is basalt. Basalt lava has a low viscosity, due to its low silica content, resulting in rapid lava flows that can spread over great areas before cooling and solidification. Flood basalt describes the formation in a series of lava basalt flows.
A cinder cone is a steep conical hill of loose pyroclastic fragments, such as either volcanic clinkers, volcanic ash, or cinder that has been built around a volcanic vent. The pyroclastic fragments are formed by explosive eruptions or lava fountains from a single, typically cylindrical, vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as either cinders, clinkers, or scoria around the vent to form a cone that often is symmetrical; with slopes between 30–40°; and a nearly circular ground plan. Most cinder cones have a bowl-shaped crater at the summit.
Given that Sunset Crater is such a young volcanic feature of this area and that eruptions have occurred every several thousands of years in frequency, it is likely that there will be a future eruption in the San Francisco Volcanic field. However, it is impossible to predict when and exactly where a new eruption might occur. The United States Geological Survey does say that a future eruption would likely be in the eastern side of the volcanic field, where the most recent volcanic activity has occurred. Such an eruption is likely to be small and pose little hazard due to the remoteness of the area.
Popular tourist and hiking destinations in the volcanic field include the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness, 20 miles northwest of Flagstaff; and Sunset Crater, which is particularly popular because it is easily accessible and has interesting horizontal lava flows at the base of the crater.[ citation needed ]
Kendrick Mountain Wilderness is a 6,510-acre (26.3 km2) wilderness area in the U.S. State of Arizona. It lies north of the city of Flagstaff on the Coconino Plateau in Coconino County. Kendrick Mountain Wilderness was designated a protected Wilderness area by Congress in 1984. About two thirds of the wilderness is contained within the Kaibab National Forest. Kendrick Mountain Wilderness contains 10,418-foot (3,175 m) Kendrick Peak, upon which a fire lookout has been located since the early 1900s.
Areas of the volcanic field have been used by NASA for testing techniques for exploration in a simulated extraterrestrial terrain environment.NASA has also conducted the Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) tests here.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies is a group of teams which perform an annual series of field trials seeking to demonstrate and test candidate technologies and systems for manned exploration of the surface of the Moon, Mars, or other rocky bodies.
|Bill Williams Mountain||2,821||9,256||-||2.8 million years ago|
|Colton Crater (Crater 160)||2,246||7,368||-|
|Kendrick Peak||3,175||10,418||-||1.4 million years ago|
|Merriam Crater||2,077||6,813||20,000 years ago|
|San Francisco Peaks||3,851||12,633||-|
|Sitgreaves Mountain||-||-||-||1.9 million years ago|
|SP Crater (SP Mountain)||2,140||7,021||71,000 years ago|
|Sunset Crater||2,446||8,026||950 ± 40 years|
|Sugarloaf Peak||-||-||-||220,000 years ago|
The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a large 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes. The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is an American national park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907: Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument.
Lassen Peak, commonly referred to as Mount Lassen, is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range of the Western United States. Located in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, it is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, which stretches from southwestern British Columbia to northern California. Lassen Peak reaches an elevation of 10,457 feet (3,187 m), standing above the northern Sacramento Valley. It supports many flora and fauna among its diverse habitats, which are subject to frequent snowfall and reach high elevations.
Newberry Volcano is a large active shield-shaped stratovolcano located 35 miles (56 km) east of the major crest of the Cascade Range and about 20 miles (32 km) south of Bend, Oregon, within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Its highest point is Paulina Peak. The largest volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, Newberry has an area of 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2) when its lava flows are taken into account. From north to south, the volcano has a length of 75 miles (121 km), with a width of 27 miles (43 km) and a total volume of approximately 120 cubic miles (500 km3). It was named for the geologist and surgeon John Strong Newberry, who explored central Oregon for the Pacific Railroad Surveys in 1855. The surrounding area has been inhabited by Native American populations for more than 10,000 years.
Mount Mazama is a complex volcano in the Oregon segment of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range, in the United States, that was pulverized due to a catastrophic eruption that took place approximately 7,700 years ago. Located in Klamath County, the volcano resides 60 miles (97 km) to the north of the border between Oregon and California in the southern Cascades. Its collapsed caldera holds Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located within Crater Lake National Park. Mount Mazama originally had an elevation of 12,000 feet, but since its climatic eruption Mount Mazama now has an elevation of 8,157 feet and Crater Lake reaches a depth of 1,943 feet (592 m), making it the deepest freshwater body in the United States and the second deepest in North America after Great Slave Lake in Canada.
Belknap Crater is a shield volcano in the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Oregon. Located in Linn County, it is associated with lava fields and numerous subfeatures including the Little Belknap and South Belknap volcanic cones. It lies north of McKenzie Pass and forms part of the Mount Washington Wilderness. Belknap is not forested and most of its lava flows are not vegetated, though there is some wildlife in the area around the volcano, as well as a number of tree molds formed by its eruptive activity.
Sunset Crater is a cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in U.S. State of Arizona. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
Cerro Azul, sometimes referred to as Quizapu, is an active stratovolcano in the Maule Region of central Chile, immediately south of Descabezado Grande. Part of the South Volcanic Zone of the Andes, its summit is 3,788 meters (12,428 ft) above sea level, and is capped by a summit crater that is 500 meters (1,600 ft) wide and opens to the north. Beneath the summit, the volcano features numerous scoria cones and flank vents.
Mount Elden or Elden Mountain is located in central Coconino County northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. It takes its name from one of the region's earliest Anglo settlers, John Elden, who, along with his family, established a homestead on the mountain’s lower slopes and grazed sheep on the open grasslands below during the late 19th century.
West Crater is a small lava dome with associated lava flows in southern Washington, United States. Located in Skamania County, it rises to an elevation of 4,131 feet (1,259 m), and forms part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It is also part of the Marble Mountain-Trout Creek Hill volcanic field, a little-known Quaternary volcanic field in the southern Cascades of Washington state. The area can be hiked, and can be accessed by roads in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
S P Crater is a cinder cone volcano in the San Francisco volcanic field, 25 miles (40 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona. It is surrounded by several other cinder cones which are older and more eroded. It is a striking feature on the local landscape, with a well-defined lava flow that extends for 4.3 miles (7 km) to the north.
The Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field, also called the Clearwater Cone Group, is a potentially active monogenetic volcanic field in east-central British Columbia, Canada, located approximately 130 km (81 mi) north of Kamloops. It is situated in the Cariboo Mountains of the Columbia Mountains and on the Quesnel and Shuswap Highlands. As a monogenetic volcanic field, it is a place with numerous small basaltic volcanoes and extensive lava flows.
The Mount Edziza volcanic complex is a large and potentially active north-south trending complex volcano in Stikine Country, northwestern British Columbia, Canada, located 38 kilometres (24 mi) southeast of the small community of Telegraph Creek. It occupies the southeastern portion of the Tahltan Highland, an upland area of plateau and lower mountain ranges, lying east of the Boundary Ranges and south of the Inklin River, which is the east fork of the Taku River. As a volcanic complex, it consists of many types of volcanoes, including shield volcanoes, calderas, lava domes, stratovolcanoes, and cinder cones.
O'Leary Peak is an extinct Pleistocene lava dome volcano within the San Francisco volcanic field, north of Flagstaff, Arizona, and to the northwest of Sunset Crater National Monument. A fire lookout tower was built on a subsidiary eastern peak. It has and elevation of 8,919 feet (2,719 m).
The Volcano, also known as Lava Fork volcano, is a small cinder cone in the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. It is located approximately 60 km (40 mi) northwest of the small community of Stewart near the head of Lava Fork. With a summit elevation of 1,656 m (5,433 ft) and a topographic prominence of 311 m (1,020 ft), it rises above the surrounding rugged landscape on a remote mountain ridge that represents the northern flank of a glaciated U-shaped valley.
The volcanic history of the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province presents a record of volcanic activity in northwestern British Columbia, central Yukon and the U.S. state of easternmost Alaska. The volcanic activity lies in the northern part of the Western Cordillera of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Extensional cracking of the North American Plate in this part of North America has existed for millions of years. Continuation of this continental rifting has fed scores of volcanoes throughout the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province over at least the past 20 million years and occasionally continued into geologically recent times.
Strawberry Crater is a cinder cone volcano, more than 1,000 feet (300 m) high, in the San Francisco volcanic field, 20 miles (32 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona. It is along Forest Road 545 between the Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater National Monument in the Strawberry Crater Wilderness. The crater lies in a volcanic field at a base elevation of about 5,500 feet (1,700 m), and prominence heights of about 6,526 feet (1,989 m). The northwestern end of the crater is covered with lava flows, while the southern end is filled with low cinder cones. Several of the surrounding cones include the better known, taller and younger Sunset Crater in the adjacent Sunset Crater National Monument.
Lenox Crater is a cinder cone located in the San Francisco Volcanic Field in Coconino County, Arizona, an area known for volcanic activity. The volcano erupted approximately 1,000 years ago, filling a small depression with ash and volcanic cinders. The lava flow from the eruption flowed near the base of Sunset Crater. The elevation of the highest point on the rim of Lenox Crater is 7,243 ft, with a topographical prominence of 181 ft. A small trail leads to the top, giving great views of Sunset Crater and the surrounding mountains.