San Francisco Volcanic Field

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 35.347°N
  • 111.678°W

  • 3850 m
    12628 ft

  • 329020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for San Francisco Volcanic Field.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for San Francisco Volcanic Field.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1075 ± 25 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Magnetism Sunset Crater and SE-trending fissures

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.

Arculus R J, Gust D A, 1995. Regional petrology of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona, USA. J Petr, 36: 827-861.

Elson M D, Ort M H, Hesse S J, Duffield W A, 2002. Lava, corn, and ritual in the northern Southwest. Amer Antiquity, 67: 119-135.

Green J, Short N M, 1971. Volcanic Landforms and Surface Features: a Photographic Atlas and Glossary. New York: Springer-Verlag, 519 p.

Holm R F, Moore R B, 1987. Holocene scoria cone and lava flows at Sunset Crater, northern Arizona. In: Bues S S (ed) {Geol Soc Amer Centennial Field Guide, Rocky Mountain Sec}, 2: 1-475.

Moore R B, Wolfe E W, 1987. Geologic map of the east part of the San Francisco volcanic field, north-Central Arizona. U S Geol Surv Map, MF-1960, 46 p text.

Ort M H, Elson M D, Anderson K C, Duffield W A, Hooten J A, Champion D E, Waring G, 2008b. Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 120: 476-486.

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.

Smiley T L, 1958. The geology and dating of Sunset Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona. New Mexico Geol Soc Guidebook, 9th Field Conf, p 186-190.

The vast San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona has more than 550 vents, the youngest of which is Sunset Crater, named for its brilliantly colored scoria deposits mantling the cone. The eruptions forming the 340-m-high Sunset Crater cinder cone were initially considered from tree-ring dating to have begun between the growing seasons of 1064-1065 CE; however, more recent paleomagnetic evidence places the activity between about 1080 and 1150 CE. The largest vent, Sunset Crater itself, was the source of the Bonito and Kana-a lava flows that extended about 2.5 km NW and 9.6 km NE, respectively. Additional vents along a 10-km-long fissure extending SE produced small spatter ramparts and a 6.4-km-long lava flow to the east. A blanket of ash and lapilli covered an area of more than 2100 sq km and forced the abandonment of settlements of the indigenous Sinagua Indians.