Iskut-Unuk River Cones

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 56.58°N
  • 130.55°W

  • 1880 m
    6166 ft

  • 320090
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Iskut-Unuk River Cones.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Iskut-Unuk River Cones.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Iskut-Unuk River Cones.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1800 CE

1880 m / 6166 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

Eight small basaltic centers at the southern end of the Stikine volcanic belt near the Alaska border comprise the Iskut-Unuk River Cone Group, one of the youngest volcanic centers in Canada. Lava flows date back 70,000 years, but the subaerial vents produced cinder cones and lava flows that were probably all active between about 9000 and a few hundred years ago. Five of the centers produced lava flows that traveled up to about 20 km down the Iskut and Unuk River valleys and their tributaries. The three remaining centers are products of ice-contact volcanism that formed pillow lava, hyaloclastite breccias, and scoria. The Iskut-Unuk flows are similar in mineralogy and contain abundant crustal xenoliths. Vents in the Iskut River Canyon area produced at least 10 lava flows and the Lava Fork vents at least three, the latest of which erupted within the past few hundred years.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Edwards B R, Russell J K, Anderson R G, 2002. Subglacial, phonolitic volcanism at Hoodoo Mountain volcano, northern Canadian Cordillera. Bull Volc, 64: 254-272.

Elliott R L, Koch R D, Robinson S W, 1981. Age of basalt flows in the Blue River valley, Bradfield Canal quadrangle. U S Geol Surv Circ, 823-B: 115-116.

Grove E W, 1976. Deglaciation a possible triggering mechanism for recent volcanism. In: Gonzalez-Ferran O (ed) {Proc Symp Andean & Antarctic Volcanology Problems (Santiago, Chile, Sept 1974)}, Rome: IAVCEI, p 88-97.

Hauksdottir S, Enegren E G, Russell J K, 1994. Recent basaltic volcanism in the Iskut-Unuk rivers area, northwestern British Columbia. Geol Surv Can Pap, 94-1A: 57-67.

Hickson C J, Edwards B R, 2001. Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards in Canada. In; Brooks G R (ed) {A Synthesis of Geological Hazards in Canada}, Geol Surv Can Bull, 548: 1-248.

Hickson C J, Soos A, Wright R, 1994. Catalogue of Canadian volcanoes. Geol Surv Canada Open-File Rpt.

Holland S S, 1976. Landforms of British Columbia, a physiographic outline. Brit Columbia Dept Mines Petrol Resour Bull, 48: 1-138 (2nd printing).

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Kerr F A, 1948. Lower Stikine and western Iskut River areas, British Columbia. Geol Surv Can Mem, 246: 1-94.

Souther J G, 1977a. Volcanism and tectonic environments in the Canadian Cordillera, a second look. Geol Assoc Can Spec Pap, 16: 3-24.

Stasiuk M V, Russell J K, 1990. Quaternary volcanic rocks of the Iskut River region, northwestern British Columbia. Geol Surv Can Pap, 90-1E: 153-157.

Wood C A, Kienle J (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ Press, 354 p.

Wright F E, 1906. Unuk River mining region. Ann Rpt Ministry Mines, Brit Columbia (1905), p 68-74.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1904 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Lava Fork
1800 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Lava Fork
1590 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Lava Fork
0620 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Iskut River
1830 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Iskut River
3450 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Iskut River
4700 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Iskut River
6830 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Iskut River

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.


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Cinder Mountain Cone 1880 m 56° 34' 0" N 130° 38' 0" W
Cone Glacier Cone 1400 m 56° 34' 0" N 130° 40' 0" W
Iskut River
    Iskut Canyon
Cone 914 m 56° 43' 0" N 130° 36' 0" W
King Creek Cone 1070 m 56° 30' 0" N 130° 40' 0" W
Lava Fork Cone 1330 m 56° 25' 0" N 130° 52' 0" W
Second Canyon
    Canyon Creek
    Unuk River
Cone 300 m 56° 25' 0" N 130° 43' 0" W
Snippaker Creek Cone 762 m 56° 38' 0" N 130° 52' 0" W
Tom Mackay Creek Cone 910 m 56° 43' 0" N 130° 34' 0" W

Photo Gallery

Shallow ponds dot the surface of valley-filling lava flows of the Iskut-Unuk volcanic field. The flows traveled south 5 km where they crossed the border into Alaska and dammed the Blue River, forming several small lakes and traveling a total of approximately 22 km. The Iskut-Unuk River Cone Group consists of eight small basaltic centers at the southern end of the Stikine volcanic belt that range in age from about 70,000 to only a few hundred years old and form one of the youngest volcanic fields in Canada.

Photo by Ben Edwards, 1997 (Dickinson College, Pennsylvania).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Iskut-Unuk River Cones in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Iskut-Unuk River Cones 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.