Geologic Map of Lassen Volcanic National Park and Vicinity, California

Scientific Investigations Map 2899

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The geologic map of Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP) and vicinity encompasses 1,905 km2 at the south end of the Cascade Range in Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, and Plumas Counties, northeastern California (fig. 1, sheet 3). The park includes 430 km2 of scenic volcanic features, glacially sculpted terrain, and the most spectacular array of thermal features in the Cascade Range. Interest in preserving the scenic wonders of the Lassen area as a national park arose in the early 1900s to protect it from commercial development and led to the establishment in 1907 of two small national monuments centered on Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone. The eruptions of Lassen Peak in 1914-15 were the first in the Cascade Range since widespread settling of the West in the late 1800s. Through the printed media, the eruptions aroused considerable public interest and inspired renewed efforts, which had languished since 1907, to establish a national park. In 1916, Lassen Volcanic National Park was established by combining the areas of the previously established national monuments and adjacent lands. The southernmost Cascade Range is bounded on the west by the Sacramento Valley and the Klamath Mountains, on the south by the Sierra Nevada, and on the east by the Basin and Range geologic provinces. Most of the map area is underlain by middle to late Pleistocene volcanic rocks; Holocene, early Pleistocene, and late Pliocene volcanic rocks (<3.5 m.y.) are less common. Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks are inferred to underlie the volcanic deposits (Jachens and Saltus, 1983), but the nearest exposures of pre-Tertiary rocks are 15 km to the south, 9 km to the southwest, and 12 km to the west. Diller (1895) recognized the young volcanic geology and produced the first geologic map of the Lassen area. The map (sheet 1) builds on and extends geologic mapping by Williams (1932), Macdonald (1963, 1964, 1965), and Wilson (1961). The Lassen Peak area mapped by Christiansen and others (2002) and published in greater detail (1:24,000) was modified for inclusion here. Figure 2 (sheet 3) shows the mapping credit for previous work; figure 3 (sheet 3) shows locations discussed throughout the text. A CD-ROM entitled Database for the Geologic Map of Lassen Volcanic National Park and Vicinity, California accompanies the printed map (Muffler and others, 2010). The CD-ROM contains ESRI compatible geographic information system data files used to create the 1:50,000-scale geologic map, both geologic and topographic data and their associated metadata files, and printable versions of the geologic map and pamphlet as PDF formatted files. The 1:50,000-scale geologic map was compiled from 1:24,000-scale geologic maps of individual quadrangles that are also included in the CD-ROM. It also contains ancillary data that support the map including locations of rock samples selected for chemical analysis (Clynne and others, 2008) and radiometric dating, photographs of geologic features, and links to related data or web sites. Data contained in the CD-ROM are also available on this Web site. The southernmost Cascade Range consists of a regional platform of basalt and basaltic andesite, with subordinate andesite and sparse dacite. Nested within these regional rocks are 'volcanic centers', defined as large, long-lived, composite, calc-alkaline edifices erupting the full range of compositions from basalt to rhyolite, but dominated by andesite and dacite. Volcanic centers are produced by the focusing of basaltic flux from the mantle and resultant enhanced interaction of mafic magma with the crust. Collectively, volcanic centers mark the axis of the southernmost Cascade Range. The map area includes the entire Lassen Volcanic Center, parts of three older volcanic centers (Maidu, Dittmar, and Latour), and the products of regional volcanism (fig. 4, sheet 3). Terminology used for subdivision of the Lassen Volcanic Center has been modified from Clynne (1984, 1990).

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Geologic Map of Lassen Volcanic National Park and Vicinity, California
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Map
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Volcano Science Center
iii, 95 p.; 3 Sheets; 1 Pamphlet; Data to accompany map; CD Rom
Lambert Conformal Conic projection
Online Only (Y/N):
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