- Document: Report (23.5 MB pdf)
- Larger Work: This publication is Chapter J2 of Field-trip guides to selected volcanoes and volcanic landscapes of the western United States
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Newberry Volcano and its surrounding lavas cover about 3,000 square kilometers (km2) in central Oregon. This massive, shield-shaped, composite volcano is located in the rear of the Cascades Volcanic Arc, ~60 km east of the Cascade Range crest. The volcano overlaps the northwestern corner of the Basin and Range tectonic province, known locally as the High Lava Plains, and is strongly influenced by the east-west extensional environment. Lava compositions range from basalt to rhyolite. Eruptions began about half a million years ago and built a broad composite edifice that has generated more than one caldera collapse event. At the center of the volcano is the 6- by 8-km caldera, created ~75,000 years ago when a major explosive eruption of compositionally zoned tephra led to caldera collapse, leaving the massive shield shape visible today. The volcano hosts Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which encompasses the caldera and much of the northwest rift zone where mafic eruptions occurred about 7,000 years ago. These young lava flows erupted after the volcano was mantled by the informally named Mazama ash, a blanket of volcanic ash generated by the eruption that created Crater Lake about 7,700 years ago. This field trip guide takes the visitor to a variety of easily accessible geologic sites in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, including the youngest and most spectacular lava flows. The selected sites offer an overview of the geologic story of Newberry Volcano and feature a broad range of lava compositions.
Newberry’s most recent eruption took place about 1,300 years ago in the center of the caldera and produced tephra and lava of rhyolitic composition. A significant mafic eruptive event occurred about 7,000 years ago along the northwest rift zone. This event produced lavas ranging in composition from basalt to andesite, which erupted over a distance of 35 km from south of the caldera to Lava Butte where erupted lava flowed west to temporarily block the Deschutes River. Because of Newberry Volcano’s proximity to populated areas, the presence of hot springs within the caldera, and the long and recent history of eruptive activity (including explosive activity), the U.S. Geological Survey installed monitoring equipment on the volcano. A recent geophysical study indicates the presence of magma at 3 to 5 km beneath the caldera.
The writing of this guide was prompted by a field trip to Crater Lake and Newberry Volcano organized in conjunction with the August 2017 IAVCEI quadrennial meeting in Portland, Oregon. Both field trip guides are available online. These two volcanoes were grouped in a single field trip because they are two of the few Cascades volcanoes that have generated calderas and significant related tephra deposits.
Jensen, R.A., and Donnelly-Nolan, J.M., 2017, Field-trip guide to the geologic highlights of Newberry Volcano, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5022–J2, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175022J2.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Field-trip guide to the geologic highlights of Newberry Volcano, Oregon|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Volcano Science Center|
|Description||viii, 30 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Newberry Volcano|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|