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Posts tagged Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Volcanic Events in Craters of the Moon National Monument, USA

43.4N 113.5W

June 16th, 2013 Category: Volcanoes MODISTerra

USA – June 15th, 2013

Craters of the Moon National Monument, in Idaho, visible here as an upside-down V-shaped brown area on the right side of the image, is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. Volcanic events were reported in the area on June 15th, and are expected to continue today.

Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago, the Craters of the Moon Lava Field formed during eight major eruptive periods. During this time the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles. The Wapi and Kings Bowl lava fields formed contemporaneously about 2,200 years ago.

Currently, this region is experiencing basin and range type faulting, which is stretching or pulling apart the crust. The Lost River Range north of the town of Arco provides good evidence that these forces are still active. In 1983 these forces caused a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, during which Mount Borah rose about 1 foot and the Lost River Valley in that vicinity dropped about 8 feet.

On the Eastern Snake River Plain, rather than producing mountain ranges, the tensional forces have caused decompression melting, which results in dike emplacement and periodic eruption of molten rock onto the surface. As long as these forces continue to act, more eruptions will occur.

Fires in Western USA by Idaho-Montana Border

43.4N 113.5W

September 21st, 2012 Category: Fires, Lakes, Volcanoes

USA – September 2nd, 2012

Smoke from fires by the Idaho-Montana border blows east-northeastward (click here for previous images of fires in western USA). Other nearby geographical features of note include the dark brown lava fields of the Craters of the Moon National Monument, at the center of the bottom edge, and the Great Salt Lake, divided into two distinctly colored halves by a concrete causeway, south of the former in the full image.

Lava Fields and Agriculture on the Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA – October 23rd, 2009

42.9N 112.6W

October 23rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers, Volcanoes

Idaho, USA - July 26th, 2009

Idaho, USA - July 26th, 2009

Both circular and rectangular fields follow the path of the Snake River on the Snake River Plain, in southern Idaho, USA. The large lake is the American Falls Reservoir, created by the dam of the same name.

The dam and reservoir are a part of the Minidoka Irrigation Project on the Snake River Plain and are used primarily for flood control, irrigation, and recreation.

The darker brown areas that differ from the otherwise tan terrain of the uncultivated parts of the plain are lava fields. The largest of these is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, which encompasses three major lava fields and about 400 square miles (1,036 km2) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles (2,893 km2).

All three lava fields of Carters of the Moon lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features

The second largest lava field on the Snake River Plain, in the upper right quadrant, is Hell’s Half Acre lava field. It is the youngest of the eastern basaltic lava fields of the plain, and covers an area of about 400 km2.

The lava is basaltic in nature which formed a broad, low shield volcano with dominantly pahoehoe flows that were erupted from a 3 km long, north-west to south-east trending vent system at the north-west part of the field during a brief eruptive episode about 5,200 years ago.