Volcanology

SP Crater

The San Francisco volcanic field contains more than 600 volcanoes, most of which are scoria (cinder) cones (hence the term 'monogenetic field'). Many of these volcanoes erupted within the last 500,000 years (or so we think) and bear record of the diversity of eruptive styles seen, but not often preserved, in scoria cones. Several NAU students over the last decade have completed senior theses in the San Francisco volcanic field, and so we know that projects are doable and will produce results that you will take to either a GSA or AGU meeting (funding provided of course!).

Click on any of these links to see what has been done, and then on the "projects" link to find out what you might be doing this summer. Just a word before you do, however. One of the themes of these students' work is understanding how and why cones 'breach'. This means that often, when a lava flow leaves a scoria cone, it takes a great deal of the cone with it, and this material ends up as rafted mounds out on the flow. The lighter areas on the SP Crater flow have rafted mounds that point to an earlier phase of the cone's life and its phases of construction and destruction. 

Nancy Riggs and Michael Ort will lead these projects. Contact Nancy Riggs with questions.