Golden Trout Creek

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 36.358°N
  • 118.32°W

  • 2886 m
    9466 ft

  • 323170
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Golden Trout Creek.

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The Golden Trout Creek volcanic field consists of a group of Quaternary alkali olivine basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in the Toowa valley of the Sierra Nevada about 25 km south of Mount Whitney. Lava flows from the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field erupted through Mesozoic granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith during several episodes dating back to about 743,000 years ago, when the Little Whitney cinder cone and lava flows were erupted. The South Fork cone was erupted about 176,000 years ago and produced the largest lava flow of the volcanic field, which traveled 10 km to the west, possibly as far as the floor of Kern Canyon. Tunnel cone to the north of South Fork (Red Hill) cone is undated, but its lava flow is overlain by glacial deposits and it is thought to be only slightly younger than South Fork cone. The youngest lava flow, from Groundhog cone, is unglaciated and thought to be about 5-10,000 years old (Moore and Lanphere 1983). The lava flow from Groundhog cone traveled 6 km west down Golden Trout Creek on top of the older flow from South Fork cone.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
5550 BCE ± 2500 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Groundhog Crater

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

Toowa Valley

Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Groundhog Pyroclastic cone 2858 m 36° 21' 29" N 118° 19' 0" W
Little Whitney Pyroclastic cone 2760 m 36° 22' 30" N 118° 20' 0" W
South Fork
    Red Hill
Pyroclastic cone 2886 m 36° 21' 0" N 118° 17' 0" W
Tunnel Cone Pyroclastic cone
Reddish oxidized scoria mantles the slopes of Groundhog cinder cone, the youngest of Golden Trout Creek volcanic field. The cone is seen here from the west, with Tunnel cone (left center) and South Fork cone (beyond the right-hand rim of Groundhog) behind it. The light-colored area at the left center is Groundhog Meadow. Basaltic lava flows from Groundhog cone visible at the lower left extended 6 km down Golden Trout Creek.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).
Groundhog cinder cone, the youngest of the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field, is breached to the NE. Groundhog cone was the source of a Holocene lava flow that traveled 6 km to the west down Golden Trout Creek The volcanic field consists of a group of Quaternary alkali olivine basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in the Sierra Nevada about 25 km south of Mount Whitney. Lava flows erupted through light-colored Mesozoic granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith visible behind Groundhog cone and on its upper right side.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).
Tunnel cinder cone (lower left) and South Fork cone (upper right) are seen from the NW with Ramshaw Meadow at the upper left. The South Fork cone was erupted about 176,000 years ago and produced the largest lava flow of the volcanic field, which traveled 10 km to the west, possibly as far as the floor of Kern Canyon. Tunnel cone to the north of South Fork (Red Hill) cone is undated, but its lava flow is overlain by glacial deposits and it is thought to be only slightly younger than South Fork cone.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).
Groundhog cinder cone is the youngest of the Golden Trout volcanic field. It is seen here from the west with South Fork cone behind it at the upper left and Olancha Peak on the crest of the Sierra Nevada on the right horizon. Groundhog cone is breached to the NE and was the source of large lava flows (visible in the foreground) that traveled 6 km to the west. The flows filled the valley of Golden Trout Creek and displaced it to the north side, separating Golden Trout Creek from Volcano Creek at the southern margin of the flow.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).
South Fork cinder cone (center) is seen from the NW with Ramshaw Meadow (upper left) behind it. Templeton Mountain is the rounded peak beyond South Fork cone, and Olancha Peak on the crest of the Sierra Nevada is on the center horizon. South Fork (Red Hill) cone was formed about 176,000 years ago and produced a lava flow 10 km to the west that may have reached as far as the Kern River. The cinder cone was erupted through a bedrock ridge of the Sierra Nevada, and inclusions of quartz monzonite are common near the vents.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).
Groundhog cinder cone (center) is seen from the NE with Tunnel Meadow in the foreground. Peaks of the Great Western Divide across Kern Canyon in Sequoia National Park are visible on the right horizon. Groundhog cone is the youngest of the group of cinder cones forming the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field in the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. This nomenclature derives from the renowned Golden trout, which is a sub-species of rainbow trout and has been designated as the official state fish of California.

Photo by Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).

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.

California Div. Mines and Geology, 1958-69. Geologic atlas of California, 1:250,0000 scale.. Calif Div Mines Geol.

Miller C D, 1989. Potential hazards from future volcanic eruptions in California. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1847: 1-17.

Moore J G, Lanphere M, 1983. Age of the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field, Sierra Nevada, California (abs). Eos, Trans Amer Geophys Union, 64: 895.

Webb R W, 1950. Volcanic geology of Toowa valley, southern Sierra Nevada, California. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 61: 349-357.

Volcano Types

Volcanic field

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
3
3
273
461,496

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Golden Trout Creek 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.