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13. High Desert Volcanoes: sleeping giants of eastern Oregon

Exotic Terranes

Beginning about 3 million years ago, a string of young volcanoes in eastern Oregon began erupting and covering large areas with lava flows of fluid basalt. These volcanoes stretch across the high desert of southeast Oregon from Newberry Volcano in the west to Jordan Craters on the Idaho border. Newberry Volcano alone covers more than 2,000 square miles and sent basalt flows down the canyon of the Deschutes River as far as 65 miles from the main crater. At Jordan Craters, hundreds of square miles are covered with young, fresh lava, creating an otherworldly landscape in the Oregon High Desert.

OGDC units: Quaternary basalt flows from Newberry Volcano, Diamond Craters and Jordan Craters, other minor Quaternary volcanic centers

Age Range: 3 million to 3,000 years ago
Rock Types: basalt
Did You Know? The large fields of fresh lava around Newberry Volcano were used by NASA to train astronauts for moon landings.


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