The Mono-Inyo Craters are a 29-km (18 mi) long chain of silicic lava domes, lava flows, and explosion craters found along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range between Mono Lake and Long Valley Caldera.


Mono Craters comprise the northern portion of the chain and form an arcuate, 17-km (10.5 km) long group of 30 or more dike-fed eruption centers. Explosive eruptions at Mono Craters began more than 50,000 years ago from now-buried vents, but almost all of the exposed domes and flows are of Holocene age. The Inyo Craters are a 12-km (7.5 mi) long chain of volcanic features similar to the northern-lying Mono Craters. The latest eruptions at Mono-Inyo Craters took place about 600 years ago when explosive eruptions and lava flows produced tephra deposits and obsidian lava domes. Eruptions on Paoha Island, the northern tip of the chain also known as Mono Lake Volcanic Field, occurred approximately 300 years ago.


Date published: March 7, 2019

New geochronology reveals the volcanic history of Mono Craters

The Mono Craters, a line of volcanic domes and craters south of Mono Lake in eastern California, represent the youngest rhyolitic volcanoes in the western United States.

Date published: April 5, 2017

Explore California's volcanic legacy and future with new field trip guides

California is well-known for its frequent earthquakes, but less so for its volcanic history – despite the fact that the most recent eruption in the state occurred just 100 years ago.

Date published: November 4, 2015

3D Images of Magma Below Mono Craters Area

USGS CalVO scientists have developed a new 3D conceptual model of the magma system below Mono Lake and Mono Craters in eastern California to give scientists a more detailed understanding of volcanic processes at depth.

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