Medicine Lake

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 41.611°N
  • 121.554°W

  • 2412 m
    7911 ft

  • 323020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Medicine Lake.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Medicine Lake.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1910 Jan ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 1   East flank (Glass Mountain ?)
1080 ± 25 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Magnetism Upper east flank (Glass Mountain)
0890 ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) SW flank (Little Glass Mountain)
0830 ± 25 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology SW flank (Paint Pot Crater)
0800 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Magnetism North flank, Callahan lava flow
0720 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Magnetism NE caldera rim (Mt. Hoffman area)
0050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Magnetism NW caldera floor (Medicine lava flow)
0780 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) SE flank, Burnt Lava flow
1080 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Lower north flank (Black Crater)
2410 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) SE caldera rim

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.

Anderson C A, 1941. Volcanoes of the Medicine Lake Highland California. Univ Calif Pub Geol Sci, 25: 347-422.

Coombs H A, Howard A D, 1960. United States of America. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 9: 1-68.

Donnelly-Nolan J M, Champion D E, 1987. Geologic map of Lava Beds National Monument, northern California. U S Geol Surv Map, I-1804.

Donnelly-Nolan J M, Champion D E, Miller C D, Grove T L, Trimble D A, 1990. Post-11,000-year volcanism at Medicine Lake volcano, Cascade Range, northern California. J Geophys Res, 95: 19,693-19,704.

Donnelly-Nolan J M, Champion D E, Miller C D, Trimble D A, 1989. Implications of post-11,000-year volcanism at Medicine Lake volcano, northern California Cascade Range. In: Muffler L J P and Weaver C S (eds) {Geology, Geophysics and Tectonic Setting of the Cascade Range}, U S Geol Surv, Open-File Rpt 89-178: 556-580.

Donnelly-Nolan J M, Grove T L, Lanphere M A, Champion D E, Ramsey D W, 2008. Eruptive history and tectonic setting of Medicine Lake volcano, a large rear-arc volcano in the southern Cascades. J Volc Geotherm Res, 177: 313-328.

Donnelly-Nolan J M, Nathenson M, Champion D E, Ramsey D W, Lowenstern J B, Ewert J W, 2007. Volcano hazards assessment for Medicine Lake volcano, northern California. U S Geol Surv Sci Invest Rpt, 2007-5174-A: 1-26.

Fink J H, 1983. Structure and emplacement of a rhyolite obsidian flow: Little Glass Mountain, Medicine Lake Highland, northern California. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 94: 362-380.

Heiken G, 1978a. Characteristics of tephra from Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Bull Volc, 41: 119-130.

Kilbourne R T, 1982. Chronology of eruptions in California during the last 2,000 years. Calif Dept Conservation Div Mines Geol Spec Pub, 63: 29-40.

Macdonald G A, 1966. Geology of the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau. Calif Div Mines Geol Bull, 190: 65-95.

Mertz S A Jr, 1977. Recent volcanism at Schonchin and Cinder Buttes, northern California. Contr Mineral Petr, 61: 231-243.

Waters A C, Donnelly-Nolan J M, Rogers B W, 1990. Selected caves and lava-tube systems in and near Lava Beds National Monument, California. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1673: 1-102 and 6 plates.

Medicine Lake is a large Pleistocene-to-Holocene, basaltic-to-rhyolitic shield volcano east of the main axis of the Cascade Range. Medicine Lake volcanism, similar in style to that of Newberry volcano in Oregon, began less than one million years ago. A roughly 7 x 12 km caldera truncating the summit contains a lake that gives the volcano its name. A series of young eruptions lasting a few hundred years began about 10,500 years before present (BP) and produced 5 cu km of basaltic lava. Eruptive activity resumed 6000 years later, producing a chemically varied group of basaltic lava flows from flank vents and silicic obsidian flows from vents within the caldera and on the upper flanks. The last eruption produced the massive Glass Mountain obsidian flow on the east flank about 900 years BP. Lava Beds National Monument on the northern flank of Medicine Lake shield volcano contains hundreds of lava-tube caves displaying a variety of spectacular lava-flow features, most of which are found in the voluminous Mammoth Crater lava flow, which extends in several lobes up to 24 km from the vent.