Uinkaret Field

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 36.38°N
  • 113.13°W

  • 1555 m
    5100 ft

  • 329010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Uinkaret Field.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Uinkaret Field.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Uinkaret Field.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1100 CE

1555 m / 5100 ft


Volcano Types

Volcanic field

Rock Types

Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
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 Uinkaret volcanic field straddling the Grand Canyon contains cinder cones that have produced lava flows that repeatedly cascaded into the Grand Canyon, forming temporary lava dams up to 200 m high. Two of the most prominent landmarks are Vulcan's Throne, a cinder cone on the north rim, and Vulcan's Forge, a small volcanic neck erupted within the Colorado River, 1000 m below. Most of the field lies north of the Grand Canyon on the Uinkaret Plateau between the Toroweap and Hurricane faults. It is largely Pleistocene in age, and Vulcan's Throne has a cosmogenic helium age of about 73,000 years. Volcanic activity has continued into the Holocene. One lava flow, from Little Springs, south of Pliocene Mount Trumbull, has a cosmogenic helium age of 1300 +/- 500 years BP. Pottery sherds dated at between 1050 and 1200 CE were found within the Little Springs lava flow, which occurred about the same time as the Sunset Crater eruption in the San Francisco volcanic field to the SE.


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

Best M G, Brimhall W H, 1974. Late Cenozoic alkalic basaltic magmas in the western Colorado Plateaus and the Basin and Range transition zone, U.S.A., and their bearing on mantle dynamics. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 85: 1677-1690.

Dalrymple G B, Hamblin W K, 1998. K-Ar ages of Pleistocene lava dams in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 95: 9744-9749.

Fenton C R, Webb R H, Pearthree P A, Cerling T E, Poreda R J, 2001. Displacement rates on the Toroweap and Hurricane faults: implications for Quaternary downcutting in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Geology, 29: 1035-1038.

Hamblin W K, 1974. Late Cenozoic volcanism in the western Grand Canyon. In: Breed W J and Roat E C (eds) {Geol of the Grand Canyon}, Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona, p 142-185.

McKee E D, Hamblin K W, Damon P E, 1968. K-Ar age of lava dam in Grand Canyon. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 79: 133-136.

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

Ort M H, Elson M D, Anderson K C, Duffield W A, Samples T L, 2008a. Variable effects of cinder-cone eruptions on prehistoric agrarian human populations in the American southwest. J Volc Geotherm Res, 176: 363-376.

Sarna-Wojcicki A M, Champion D E, Davis J O, 1983. Holocene volcanism in the conterminous United States and the role of silicic volcanic ash layers in correlation of latest Pleistocene and Holocene deposits. In: Wright H E (ed) {Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States}, Minneapolis: Univ Minnesota Press, 2: 52-77.

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.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1100 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed 1 Anthropology Little Springs

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
Emma, Mount Pyroclastic cone
Little Springs Pyroclastic cone
Prospect Cone Pyroclastic cone
Trumbull, Mount Pyroclastic cone
Vulcan's Throne Pyroclastic cone

Photo Gallery

The small dark-colored pyroclastic cone on the right side of the Grand Canyon at the upper left is Vulcan's Throne, part of the Uinkaret volcanic field, which lies on the north rim of the canyon. Lava flows that originated from the cone can be seen cascading into the Grand Canyon. These flows formed temporary lava dams in the canyon up to 200 m high. Light-colored rocks of the Kaibab Limestone form the steep cliffs bounding the mesa at the right.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Uinkaret Field in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Uinkaret 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).
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.