Lavic Lake

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 34.75°N
  • 116.625°W

  • 1495 m
    4904 ft

  • 323190
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Lavic Lake.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Lavic Lake.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Lavic Lake.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Uncertain

1495 m / 4904 ft


Volcano Types

Volcanic field

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

The Lavic Lake volcanic field was considered to contain four Holocene cinder cones, three in the Lavic Lake area and a fourth in the Rodman Mountains 20 km to the west (Miller 1989). Pisgah Crater, a 100-m-high cinder cone, is the most prominent feature of the basaltic lava field. Nearby vents were the source of dominantly pahoehoe lava flows that traveled 8 km SE to Lavic Lake and in a narrow lobe over that traveled over alluvial-fan and playa-lake deposits as far as 18 km west of the vent. More recent work indicates a convergence of dates for Pisgah Crater from paleomagnetic, argon-argon, and cosmogenic helium at about 25,000 years BP (Reid 2002, pers. comm.). Another very youthful looking, but undated cinder cone and lava field of the Lavic Lake volcanic field is located in the Sunshine Peak area of the Lava Beds Mountains, south of the better known Pisgah Crater.


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

Bassett A M, Kupfer D H, 1964. A geologic reconnaissance in the southeastern Mojave Desert, California. Calif Div Mines Geol Spec Rpt, 83: 1-43.

Chesterman C W, 1971. Volcanism in California. Calif Geol, 24: 139-147.

Luedke R G, Smith R L, 1981. Map showing distribution, composition, and age of late Cenozoic volcanic centers in California and Nevada. U S Geol Surv Map, I-1091-C.

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

Reid M, 2002. (pers. comm.).

Smith R L, Shaw H R, 1975. Igneous-related geothermal systems. U S Geol Surv Circ, 726: 58-83.

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

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Lavic Lake. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Lavic Lake page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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
Pisgah Crater Pyroclastic cone 775 m 34° 45' 0" N 116° 22' 30" W

Photo Gallery

A freight train passes Pisgah Crater and its associated lava field. The 100-m-high cone is the most prominent feature of a lava field that covers 100 sq km. The irregular shape of the cone results from the mining of aggregate. The composite lava flows extend up to 8 km to the SE and in a narrow lobe 18 km to the NW. Most of the flows are pahoehoe, but some of the eastern flows are aa. Other cones and lava flows of the Lavic Lake volcanic field are located nearby.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The cone of Pisgah Crater has been modified by mining operations that provide a source of road aggregate. The cone is the most prominent feature of the Lavic Lake volcanic field in southern California. A broad lava field erupted from nearby vents surrounds the cone; a narrow lobe that extends up to 18 km to the NW can be seen in this view.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The NE rim of Pisgah Crater provides a view of the 100-sq-km lava field surrounding the crater. The basaltic lava field was erupted from the crater and nearby vents and is dominantly formed of pahoehoe lava, although aa lavas were erupted on the eastern side. Interstate highway 40 skirts the northern margins of the lava flow, below the Cady Mountains in the distance. The lavas were erupted onto alluvial-fan and playa-lake deposits.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
Pisgah Crater is the most prominent feature of the Lavic Lake volcanic field, which contains four Quaternary cinder cones. The 100-m-high Pisgah Crater, seen here from the NW, and its surrounding 100-sq-km lava field are easily seen from nearby Interstate highway 40. The crater and nearby vents were the source of dominantly pahoehoe lava flows that traveled as far as 18 km NW over alluvial-fan and playa-lake deposits. Pisgah Crater was initially considered to be Holocene in age, but more recent dating indicates it is about 25,000 years old.

Photo by Paul Kimberly, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The dark-colored area seen in the distance across the dry Lavic Lake is a cinder cone and associated lava field that is one of the young vents of the Lavic Lake volcanic field. The youthful-looking lava flows originated from the Sunshine Peak area of the Lava Beds Mountains, south of the better known Pisgah Crater.

Photo by Paul Kimberly, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 18 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 115038-1 Basalt
NMNH 115038-10 Basalt
NMNH 115038-2 Basalt
NMNH 115038-3 Basalt
NMNH 115038-4 Basalt
NMNH 115038-5 Basalt
NMNH 115038-6 Basalt
NMNH 115038-7 Basalt
NMNH 115038-8 Basalt
NMNH 115038-9 Basalt
NMNH 115041-1 Basalt
NMNH 115041-2 Basalt
NMNH 115041-3 Basalt
NMNH 115041-4 Basalt
NMNH 115041-5 Basalt
NMNH 115041-6 Basalt
NMNH 91480 Basalt
NMNH 91481 Basalt

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Lavic Lake 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.