Three Sisters

Future Eruptions Around Three Sisters

The Three Sisters region has hosted volcanic eruptions for hundreds of thousands of years, and future eruptions are a certainty.

South Sister volcano and unforested "Devils Chain" rhyolites (area'...

South Sister volcano and unforested "Devils Chain" rhyolites (area's youngest volcanic products) to its left, viewed northwestward. Sparks Lake basin in foreground, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon. (Credit: Cagwin, George. Public domain.)

Two types of volcanoes exist in the Three Sisters region and each poses different hazards. South and Middle Sister are recurrently active over thousands to tens of thousands of years and may either erupt explosively or produce substantial lava domes that could collapse into pyroclastic flows. They could also produce lava flows. In contrast, less explosive eruptions could occur almost anywhere in the surrounding area, and construct small cinder cones to large shield volcanoes made mostly of basalt to andesite lava flows. These volcanoes are typically short-lived (months to centuries) and usually don’t erupt again.