Cerro Prieto

Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
Google Earth Placemark
  • Mexico
  • Mexico
  • Lava dome
  • Unknown
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 32.418°N
  • 115.305°W

  • 223 m
    731 ft

  • 341000
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

There are no activity reports for Cerro Prieto.

 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Cerro Prieto.

There are no Holocene eruptions known for Cerro Prieto. If this volcano has had large eruptions prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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.

Beal C H, 1948. Reconnaissance of the geology and oil possibilities of Baja California, Mexico. Geol Soc Amer Mem, 31: 1-138.

de Boer J Z, 1980. Paleomagnetism of the Quaternary Cerro Prieto, Crater Elegante, and Salton Buttes volcanic domes in the northern part of the Gulf of California rhombochasm. Proc 2nd Symp Cerro Prieto Geotherm Field, Baja Calif, Mexico, p 91-102.

Gastil R G, Phillips R P, Allison E C, 1975. Reconnaissance geology of the State of Baja California. Geol Soc Amer Mem, 140: 1-170.

Herzig C T, 1990. Geochemistry of igneous rocks from the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, northern Baja California, Mexico. J Volc Geotherm Res, 42: 261-271.

Medina F, Suarez F, Espindola J M, 1989. Historic and Holocene volcanic centers in NW Mexico. Bull Volc Eruptions, 26: 91-93.

Reed M J, 1976. Geology and hydrothermal metamorphism in the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Mexico. In: {Proc 2nd United Nations Symp Devel Use Geotherm Resour, San Francisco}, Washington D C: U S Government Printing Office, 1: 539-547.

Reed M J, 1984. Relationship between volcanism and hydrothermal activity at Cerro Prieto, Mexico. Trans Geotherm Res Council, 8: 217-221.

The Cerro Prieto geothermal field is located at the head of the Gulf of California, 35 km south of the city of Mexicali. Cerro Prieto lies in an active continental rift that is transitional between the transform San Andreas fault system to the north and a spreading ridge of the East Pacific Rise in the Gulf of California to the south. The only surficial volcanic feature at Cerro Prieto, which is located near sea level on the Colorado River delta, is a small, 223-m-high compound dacitic lava dome. A 200-m-wide crater is located at the summit of the NE-most dome. The Cerro Prieto dome was roughly estimated from paleomagnetic evidence to have formed during a series of events between 100,000 and 10,000 years ago. Cucupas Indian legends described a monster that covered the land with hot rocks, which grew through the soil and emitted fire tongues, a possible reference to the growth of the volcano.