West Eifel Volcanic Field

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 50.17°N
  • 6.85°E

  • 600 m
    1968 ft

  • 210010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

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The West Eifel volcanic field in the Rhineland district of western Germany SW of the city of Bonn is a dominantly Pleistocene group of 240 scoria cones, maars, and small stratovolcanoes covering an area of about 600 sq km. It lies about 40 km SW of the smaller, but better known, East Eifel volcanic field. Individual vents, most of which cover a broad NW-SE-trending area extending about 50 km from the towns of Ormont on the NW to Bad Bertrich on the SE, were erupted above a mantle plume through Devonian sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Scoria cones, about half of which have produced lava flows, form two-thirds of the volcanic centers, and about 30% are maars or tuff rings, many of which are occupied by lakes. About 230 eruptions have occurred during the past 730,000 years. The latest eruptions formed the Ulmener, Pulvermaar, and Strohn maars around the end of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
8300 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Strohn, Pulvermaar
8740 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected) Ulmener Maar

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Synonyms

Eifel Volcanic Field

Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Alter Voss Cone
Baarley Pyroclastic cone
Burlich Tuff cone
Döhmberg Cone
Erbenschell Cone
Feuerberg Cone
Fimerich Cone
Fischbach Cone
Hangelberg Cone
Hippersbach Tuff ring
Kalem Cone
Krümmel Cone
Liley Cone
Mauseberg Pyroclastic cone
Mosenberg Cone
Muhlenberg Cone
Radersberg Cone
Rockeskyllerkopf Pyroclastic cone
Ruderbüsch Cone
Southeast Lammersdorf Tuff ring
Wartgesberg Cone
Wolfsbeuel Cone

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Auel Maar
Booser Maar 50° 18' 43" N 6° 59' 53" E
Brück Crater
Dauner Maar
Dreiser Weiher Maar
Duppacher Weiher Maar
Dürres Maar
Essingen Maar
Gemündener Maar 50° 11' 0" N 6° 50' 0" E
Hardt-Maar Maar
Hengstweiler Maar
Hinkelsmaar Maar
Hofenfels Maar
Hohen List Maar
Holzmaar Maar
Kirchweiler Maar
Lierweisen Maar
Meerfelder Maar 50° 6' 0" N 6° 45' 0" E
Mosbruch Maar 50° 16' 0" N 6° 57' 0" E
Oberwinkel Maar
Pulvermaar Maar 50° 8' 0" N 6° 55' 0" E
Schalkenmehren Maar 50° 10' 0" N 6° 51' 0" E
Sprinker Maar
Strohn Maar 50° 7' 0" N 6° 55' 0" E
Trautzberger Maar
Ulmener Maar
Waldsdorfer Maar
Weinfelder Maar 50° 11' 0" N 6° 57' 0" E
The lake-filled Weinfelder maar is one of about 80 maars of the West Eifel volcanic field in Germany, west of the Rhine River. The roughly 500-m-wide crater was formed during the late Pleistocene by explosions through nonvolcanic bedrock. About 230 eruptions during the past 730,000 years formed a 600 sq km area of maars, scoria cones, and small stratovolcanoes.

Photo by Richard Waitt, 1990 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The Mehrener maar is one of about 80 maars of the West Eifel volcanic field. The village of Mehrener is located on the shore of a lake partially filling the crater, whose rim lies behind the village. Maars, scoria cones, and small stratovolcanoes cover an area of 600 sq km west of the Rhine River. Most originated during eruptions between about 730,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Photo by Richard Waitt, 1990 (U.S. Geological Survey).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Buchel G, Lorenz V, 1982. Zum Alter des Maarvulkanismus der Westeifel. Neues Jahrb Geol Palaont Abh, 163: 1-22.

Keyser M, Ritter J R R, Jordan M, 2002. 3D shear-wave velocity structure of the Eifel plume, Germany. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 203: 59-82.

Krafft M, 1974. Guide des Volcans d'Europe. Neuchatel: Delachaux & Niestle, 412 p.

Mertes H, Schmincke H-U, 1983. Age distribution of volcanoes in the West-Eifel. Neues Jahrb Geol Palaont Monatsh, 166: 260-293.

Ritter J R R, Jordan M, Christensen U R, Achauer U, 2000. A mantle plume below the Eifel volcanic fields, Germany. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 186: 7-14.

Rutten M G, 1969. The Geology of Western Europe. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 520 p.

Shaw C S J, 2004. The temporal evolution of three magmatic systems in the West Eifel volcanic field, Germany. J Volc Geotherm Res, 131: 213-240.

Shaw C S J, Woodland A B, Hopp J, Trenholm N D, 2010. Structure and evolution of the Rockeskyllerkopf Volcanic Complex, West Eifel Volcanic Field, Germany. Bull Volc, 72: 971-990.

Shaw, C S J, and Woodland, A B, 2012. The role of magma mixing in the petrogenesis of mafic alkaline lavas, Rockeskyllerkopf Volcanic Complex, West Eifel, Germany. Bulletin of Volcanology 74:359-376.

Zolitschka B, Negendank J F W, Lottermoser B G, 1995. Sedimentological proof and dating of the early Holocene volcanic eruption of Ulmener Maar (Vulkaneifel, Germany). Geol Rundschau, 84: 213-219.

Volcano Types

Maar(s)
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Foidite
Minor
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
Phonolite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
94,991
94,991
232,256
7,945,412

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of West Eifel Volcanic Field Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.