Lava Dome

Lava Dome

Lava Dome Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. A mound or hill-shaped formation
  2. Made by lava ejected from vents in the ground

Example of a Lava Dome Landform:

Mount Elden near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
The lava dome picture is an example.

What is a Lava Dome Landform?

A lava dome is a hill-shaped formation created by lava flows.

How are Lava Domes Formed?

Lava escapes from one or more openings in the ground to form a lava dome.This can occur repeatedly at the same location to grow a lava dome during a period of days, months or years.

How Large is a Lava Dome?

A lava dome can range from a few feet in height to the size of a mountain peak.

Where Can a Lava Dome Be Found?

Lava domes can be found in areas of volcanic activity. They often form inside the crater of an active volcano. A volcano can also be a lava dome. They can also exist in areas that are no longer volcanically active.

Famous Lava Domes

• Puy de Dôme, France
• Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala
• Mt. Elden near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
• Novarupta, Alaskan Peninsula, Alaska, USA
• Lassen Peak, Cascade Range, California, USA
• Mt. St. Helens, Cascade Range, Washington State, USA

Puy de Dôme is a lava dome and a dormant volcano 4806 feet above sea level located in the south-central region of France. The mountain is a popular site for paragliding and receives a half million visitors each year for hiking, bicycling and scenic viewing.

The Guatemalan volcano Santa Maria had the third largest eruption of the 20th century in 1902. Since then, it has built a lava dome in the main crater, as well as more lava domes covering other vents on the mountain. Mt. Elden is a lava dome close to Flagstaff, Arizona at an elevation of 9,301 feet. It stands 2,400 feet above the city and was created by lava flows from a series of vents at faults in the area.

Novarupta is a lava dome about 300 feet high in the Katmai National Park on the Alaskan Peninsula. It lies in a caldera that was created by an eruption of the original Novarupta mountain in 1912. It was the largest eruption of the 20th century, a series of eruptions over 60 hours that ejected 30 times the quantity of ash as the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980.

Lassen Peak in the Cascade Range in northern California is a large lava dome at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, standing 2000 feet above its base. It is a volcano that produced a major eruption in 1914, causing devastation and sending ash east for 200 miles. It was one of only two volcanic eruptions in the lower 48 states during the 20th century. Mt. St. Helens was the other, a catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980 that destroyed over 230 square miles of forest and buildings.

By October of 1980, small eruptions had produced a lava dome over 800 feet tall inside the crater. Some growth continued until 1986. Renewed activity in 2004 began building a new dome on the south side of the first dome, reaching almost 1500 feet before a collapse occured. After more growth, another collapse and an avalanche on the dome took place. The dome grew again to a height of approximately 1300 feet when activity stopped in 2008.

Lava Dome definition:

A mound, hill or mountain formed by lava ejected from one or more vents in the ground

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