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Geologic field-trip guide to Medicine Lake Volcano, northern California, including Lava Beds National Monument

Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5022-K1

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ORCID iD and
https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175022K1

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Abstract

Medicine Lake volcano is among the very best places in the United States to see and walk on a variety of well-exposed young lava flows that range in composition from basalt to rhyolite. This field-trip guide to the volcano and to Lava Beds National Monument, which occupies part of the north flank, directs visitors to a wide range of lava flow compositions and volcanic phenomena, many of them well exposed and Holocene in age. The writing of the guide was prompted by a field trip to the California Cascades Arc organized in conjunction with the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) quadrennial meeting in Portland, Oregon, in August of 2017. This report is one of a group of three guides describing the three major volcanic centers of the southern Cascades Volcanic Arc. The guides describing the Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Center parts of the trip share an introduction, written as an overview to the IAVCEI field trip. However, this guide to Medicine Lake volcano has descriptions of many more stops than are included in the 2017 field trip. The 23 stops described here feature a range of compositions and volcanic phenomena. Many other stops are possible and some have been previously described, but these 23 have been selected to highlight the variety of volcanic phenomena at this rear-arc center, the range of compositions, and for the practical reason that they are readily accessible. Open ground cracks, various vent features, tuffs, lava-tube caves, evidence for glaciation, and lava flows that contain inclusions and show visible evidence of compositional zonation are described and visited along the route.

Suggested Citation

Donnelly-Nolan, J.M., and Grove, T.L., 2017, Geologic field-trip guide to Medicine Lake Volcano, northern California, including Lava Beds National Monument: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5022–K1, 53 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175022K1.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Contributing Authors
  • Introduction
  • Geologic and Tectonic Setting
  • Geophysical Summary
  • Logistics
  • Information To Take With You
  • About The Units Used In This Guide
  • Road Log
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geologic field-trip guide to Medicine Lake Volcano, northern California, including Lava Beds National Monument
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2017-5022
Chapter:
K1
DOI:
10.3133/sir20175022K1
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Volcano Science Center
Description:
ix, 53 p.
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
Medicine Lake
Online Only (Y/N):
Y