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Davis Lake Volcanic Field

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Three small, youthful lava flows, each with an associated scoria cone, lie about 15 km (9 mi) east of the Cascade Range crest in central Oregon. 

Quick Facts

Location: Oregon, Deschutes County

Latitude: 43.641° N

Longitude: 121.818° W

Elevation: 1,494 (m) 4,902 (f)

Volcano type: Lava flows

Composition: Andesite

Most recent eruption: 5,300-5,600 years ago

Nearby towns: Gilchrist, La Pine

Threat Potential: Low/Very Low*

*based on the National Volcano Early Warning System


The northernmost of the three forms the natural dam to Davis Lake, the namesake for this volcanic field. The lava flows, are thick (30-60 m or 90-200 ft), blocky andesite. The vents form a 20-km-long (12 mi) north-trending alignment. The Davis Lake lava flows are similar in appearance and chemistry, which indicates that they are probably the surface expression of a single fissure at depth and were probably erupted at, or very near, the same time.

The Davis Lake lava flows are younger than Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) ash and therefore younger than about 7,700 years. A more precise age comes from charcoal collected beneath the cinder fallout near the vent for the middle lava flow, which indicates the flows are approximately 5,050-5,600 years old (calibrated to calendar years).


2018 update to the U.S. Geological Survey national volcanic threat assessment

When erupting, all volcanoes pose a degree of risk to people and infrastructure, however, the risks are not equivalent from one volcano to another because of differences in eruptive style and geographic location. Assessing the relative threats posed by U.S. volcanoes identifies which volcanoes warrant the greatest risk-mitigation efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners. This update

John W. Ewert, Angela K. Diefenbach, David W. Ramsey