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
West Crater Volcanic Field
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West Crater, a small andesitic lava dome with associated lava flows, is part of a Quaternary volcanic field southeast of Mount St. Helens in southern Washington.
Location: Washington, Skamania County
Latitude: 45.88° N
Longitude: 122.08° W
Elevation: 1,329 (m) 4,360 (f)
Volcano type: Volcanic field
Composition: Basalt to Andesite
Threat Potential: Low/Very Low*
*based on the National Volcano Early Warning System
It consists primarily of small basaltic and basaltic andesite cinder cones and shield volcanoes and is oriented along a northwest-to-southeast zone. This 20-km-wide (12 mi) zone extends from Marble Mountain, north of Swift Reservoir, to south of Trout Creek Hill. The Pleistocene basaltic Trout Creek Hill shield volcano produced a lava flow about 340,000 years ago that traveled 20 km SE, temporarily damming the Columbia River. At least three vents in this field are of Holocene age--West Crater, a small cone at Hackamore Creek, and a phreatic crater at the summit of Bare Mountain. The latest eruptions at these locations have been dated at about 8000 years before present, and have included emplacement of an andesitic lava dome and associated lava flow at West Crater and formation of a phreatic explosion crater at Bare Mountain.