The Great Rift is an 85 km-long, 2-8 km-wide volcanic rift zone in the Snake River Plain, Idaho. Three basaltic lava fields, latest Pleistocene to Holocene, are located along the Great Rift: Craters of the Moon, Kings Bowl and Wapi. Craters of the Moon is the largest, covering 1600 km2 and containing approx 30 km3 of lava flows and pyroclastics. Field, radiocarbon and palaeomagnetic data show that this lava field formed in eight eruptive periods, each lasted several hundred years with a recurrence interval of several hundred to approx 3000 yr. The first eruption began approx 15 000 yr B.P. and the last ended at approx 2100 yr B.P. The other two lava fields formed approx 2250 yr B.P. Three magma types fed flows along the Great Rift. A contaminated and a fractionated type were erupted at the Craters of the Moon lava field. The third, little-fractionated Snake River Plain magma-type was erupted at the other two lava fields. The Craters of the Moon segment of the Great Rift has experienced quasi-steady state, volume-predictable volcanism for the last 15 000 yr. Based on this, about 5-6 km3 of lava will be erupted within the next 1000 yr.-L.C.H.
Additional publication details
Contrasting magma types and steady-state, volume-predictable, basaltic volcanism along the Great Rift, Idaho.