Frequency of volcanic eruptions in the Mammoth Lakes Sierra

Fact Sheet 2018-3059
By: , and 



Geologists recognize lavas and ash deposits from about 60 past eruptions in the area around Mammoth Mountain and Devils Postpile, California. This raises the unanswerable question, “When will it erupt again?” An alternative, answerable, and informative question is, “How often has it erupted?”

In the Mammoth Lakes Sierra, geologists have mapped in great detail all the lavas and ash deposits produced by those 60 eruptions. They have dated almost all of them by laboratory methods, showing that eruptions have been repetitive and persistent, though not quite regular, over the last quarter-million years. For few volcanoes in the world is the long-term eruptive frequency so well calibrated as in the Mammoth Lakes Sierra.

Suggested Citation

Hildreth, W., Calvert, A., Fierstein, J., and Marcaida, M., 2018, Frequency of volcanic eruptions in the Mammoth Lakes Sierra: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3059, 2 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Frequency of volcanic eruptions in the Mammoth Lakes Sierra
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2018-3059
DOI 10.3133/fs20183059
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 2 p.
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Mammoth Lakes Sierra
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page