Salton Buttes

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 33.2°N
  • 115.62°W

  • -40 m
    -131 ft

  • 323200
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Salton Buttes.



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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
6450 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Hydration Rind Obsidian Butte

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. 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. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Friedman I, Obradovich J, 1981. Obsidian hydration dating of volcanic events. Quat Res, 16: 37-47.

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

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.

Robinson P T, Elders W A, Muffler L J P, 1976. Quaternary volcanism in the Salton Sea geothermal field, Imperial Valley, California. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 87: 347-360.

Schmitt A K, Hulen J B, 2008. Buried rhyolites within the active, high-temperature Salton Sea geothermal system. J Volc Geotherm Res, 178: 708-718.

Schmitt A K, Vazquez J A, 2006. Alteration and remelting of nascent oceanic crust during continental rupture: evidence from zircon geochemistry of rhyolites and xenoliths from the Salton Trough, California. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 252: 260-274.

Smith R L, Shaw H R, Luedke R G, Russell S L, 1978. Comprehensive tables giving physical data and thermal energy estimates for young igneous systems of the United States. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 78-925: 1-25.

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

The Salton Buttes consist of five small rhyolitic lava domes extruded onto Quaternary sediments of the Colorado River delta within the Salton Sea geothermal field at the SE margin of the Salton Sea. The summit of The age of the Salton Buttes has variously been considered to be late Pleistocene or early Holocene based on different dating techniques. Recent dating of young zircons (which typically crystallize prior to eruption) at 10,300 +/- 1000 years Before Present (BP) is consistent with early Holocene hydration rind dates from Obsidian Butte. Wave-cut benches originating from Lake Cahuilla, which existed from about 20,500 to 3000 BP prior to the 20th century formation of the Salton Sea due to an accidental spill-over of the Colorado River, are found on all of the domes. Older, sediment-buried Pleistocene rhyolitic lava domes have been found in geothermal drill holes. The Salton Sea geothermal field produces saline geothermal brines.