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Sand Mountain Field

Photo of this volcano
  • United States
  • Canada and Western USA
  • Pyroclastic cone(s)
  • 950 BCE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 44.38°N
  • 121.93°W

  • 1664 m
    5459 ft

  • 322040
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Sand Mountain Field.

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

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

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.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 2 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0950 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 4 Magnetism
5050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 2 Magnetism Jack Mountain
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Sand Mountain Field.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Sand Mountain Field.

Photo Gallery

The Sand Mountain volcanic field contains a group of 23 scoria cones that erupted along a N-S line NW of Mount Washington. Two cone alignments diverge at the highest cone, Sand Mountain. This view looks along the NNE alignment with Mount Jefferson visible in the distance. The Sand Mountain cones and associated lava flows erupted between about 3,000 and 4,000 years ago.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1981 (Smithsonian Institution).
Nash Crater scoria cone, seen here from Little Nash Crater to the NW, is part of a line of cones that diverges to the NNW from Sand Mountain. Lava flows from Nash Crater were emplaced about 3,850 years ago and traveled to the west where they blocked a stream drainage, forming Fish Lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).
The flat summit of Little Nash Crater, a scoria cone of the Sand Mountain volcanic field in the central Oregon Cascades, has been extensively quarried to provide aggregate for highway construction. Red oxidized scoria from Little Nash Crater can be seen in road surfaces in the Santiam Pass area.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).
A lava flow, still largely unvegetated, was emplaced about 3,850 years ago from Nash Crater in the Sand Mountain volcanic field of the central Oregon Cascades. This and contemporaneous lava flows blocked local drainages, forming Lava Lake and Fish Lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).
Sahalie Falls formed when lava flows erupted about 3,000 years ago from the Sand Mountain volcanic field traveled to the west, blocking the channel of the ancestral McKenzie River.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1995 (Smithsonian Institution).
The Lost Lake scoria cones, seen here from the east across Lost Lake near Santiam Pass, are the youngest known volcanic products of the Sand Mountain volcanic field. The cones formed about 1,950 radiocarbon years ago during eruptions along a N-S-trending fissure at the northern end of the Sand Mountain group. Growth of the cones blocked Lost Creek, forming Lost Lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The snow-capped Sand Mountain scoria cones on the horizon were the source of the barren lava flow forming the far shore of Clear Lake. The lake formed when a series of lava flows erupted from the Sand Mountain volcanic field and traveled to the west, blocking the drainage of the ancestral McKenzie River. Standing stumps of the forest drowned by the rising lake waters have been radiocarbon dated to about 3,000 years ago and are still visible today.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
Fish Lake is an ephemeral lake on the western side of the Cascade Range crest that fills with water (seen here after spring snow-melt) but dries up during the summer. The lake formed when the Fish Lake lava flow from Nash Crater of the Sand Mountain volcanic field dammed local drainages. This flow and the Lava Lake flow from scoria cones at the northern half of the chain were both extruded about 3,850 radiocarbon years ago.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
The Sand Mountain scoria cones rise to the WNW in late Spring across the partially frozen surface of Big Lake. South (left) and North Sand Mountain cones are the largest of a group of 23 scoria cones along a N-S line immediately west of the Cascade crest, NW of Mount Washington. A series of young, sparsely vegetated lava flows reaching the McKenzie River valley originated from vents to the west side and erupted primarily during about 3,000-4,000 years ago.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Canada, United States
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: United States
Year: 1988
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Canada, United States

Title: W US /Map of Dist, Comp, Age-Late CZ Volc Centers
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1984
Series: MI
Map Type: Geology (Volcano)
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of W US /Map of Dist, Comp, Age-Late CZ Volc Centers

Title: Dist, Thickness, Mass of Tephra from Volcanoes
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1983
Series: MFS
Map Type: Geology (Volcanic Hazard)
Scale: 1:2,500,000
Map of Dist, Thickness, Mass of Tephra from Volcanoes

Title: Distribution, Comp, & Age of L Cen Volcan, Cascade Range, NW US
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1983
Series: MI
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Distribution, Comp, & Age of L Cen Volcan, Cascade Range, NW US

Title: Map SHowing Distribution, Composition, and Age of Late Cenozoic Volcanic Centers in Oregon and Washington
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1982
Series: Misc Investigations
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Map SHowing Distribution, Composition, and Age of Late Cenozoic Volcanic Centers in Oregon and Washington

Title: Geothermal Energy Resources of the Western United States
Publisher: ERDA and USGS
Country: United States
Year: 1977
Map Type: Cultural (Geothermal Resources)
Scale: 1:1,250,000
Map of Geothermal Energy Resources of the Western United States

Title: Bend
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1971
Series: V502
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Bend

Title: Crescent
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1970
Series: V502
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Crescent

Title: Geol Map of OR W of 121st Meridian
Publisher: US Geological Survey
Country: United States
Year: 1961
Series: MI
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Geol Map of OR W of 121st Meridian
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

External Sites