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Sunset Crater

By MalcolmS  
Sunset Crater is a volcanic cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in U.S. State of Arizona. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes (the San Francisco volcanic field) that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks.
The date of the eruptions that formed the 340-meter-high cone (1,120 ft) was initially derived from tree-ring dates, suggesting the eruption began between the growing seasons of A.D. 10641065. However, more recent geologic and archaeological evidence places the eruption around A.D. 1085. The largest vent of the eruption, Sunset Crater itself, was the source of the Bonito and Kana-a lava flows that extended about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 mi) NW and 9.6 kilometers (6 mi) NE, respectively. Additional vents along a 10-kilometer-long fissure (6.2 mi) extending SE produced small spatter ramparts and a 6.4-kilometer-long lava flow (4 mi) to the east. The Sunset Crater eruption produced a blanket of ash and lapilli covering an area of more than 2,100 square kilometers (810 sq mi) and forced the temporary abandonment of settlements of the local Sinagua people. The volcano has partially revegetated, with pines and wildflowers. The crater is the namesake for the Sunset Crater Beardtongue (Penstemon clutei).

Damage from hikers forced the National Park Service to close a trail leading to the crater, but a short trail at the base remains.

The hiking trail below the summit skirts the substantial Bonito Lava Flow. This hardened lava is black and appears fresh as it has devastated the forest in its path. The lava flow also created an ice cave or tube that is now closed to the public after a partial collapse.

Tags: General Flowers and plants Digitally manipulated Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature

Voters: RichardNiglas, cabbie, martin.w and 39 more

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Richsr Plus
9 91 223 England
26 Jan 2014 9:06PM
Some interesting tree shapes in the foreground Malcolm, good info too
Regards Richard

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taggart Plus
12 47 13 United States
26 Jan 2014 10:40PM
A gorgeous image and some great text--(appreciated)
Mike_Smith Plus
9 323 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2014 3:18PM
Cracking picture, with a very informative write up
31 Jan 2014 6:55PM
A great image and write up
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2014 7:56PM
Enjoyed reading all the info to go with the lovely landscape
Maiwand Plus
9 3 72 England
8 Feb 2014 4:26PM
Great shot and top class narrative.GrinGrinGrin

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