Emily Wallace

Atop Lava Butte 

Did you know that there are volcanoes all over Oregon?

Cinder cone volcanoes: evidence of a fiery past

A cinder cone is a volcano that is a result of a very violent eruption in the past. It is made of cinders, which are small pieces of rock full of trapped air bubbles.  Cinders formed inside frothy lava as it was spewed into the air during an explosive eruption. Rising nearly 500 feet about its surroundings, visitors can travel to the top of the cone and imagine the destruction caused by the fierce rain of lava that the eruption spread over the landscape. The top of Lava Butte is now home to a lookout tower for the United States Forest Service.

The Breach 

Volcanoes can have peaceful eruptions?

Lava oozes out of the side of the cinder cone

About 7,000 years ago a second, more tranquil eruption of Lava Butte began. Lava spilled through the south side of Lava Butte and oozed down onto the landscape below.  As the lava escaped through this breach, it flowed several miles to the Deschutes River, which it temporarily dammed and permanently redirected the river’s channel.

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