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Medicine Lake volcano (MLV) is located in an E-W extensional environment on the Modoc Plateau just east of the main arc of the Cascades. It consists mainly of mafic lavas, although drillhole data indicate that a larger volume of rhyolite is present than is indicated by surface mapping. The most recent eruption was rhyolitic and occurred about 900 years ago. At least seventeen eruptions have occurred since 12,000 years ago, or between 1 and 2 eruptions per century on average, although activity appears to be strongly episodic. The calculated eruptive rate is about 0.6 km3 per thousand years during the entire history of the volcano. Drillhole data indicate that the plateau surface underlying the volcano has been downwarped by 0.5 km under the center of MLV. The volcano may be even larger than the estimated 600 km3, already the largest volcano by volume in the Cascades.
Additional Publication Details
Geology of Medicine Lake Volcano, Northern California Cascade Range