Open-File Report 97-513
Newberry volcano is a broad shield volcano located in central Oregon. It has been built by thousands of eruptions, beginning about 600,000 years ago. At least 25 vents on the flanks and summit have been active during several eruptive episodes of the past 10,000 years. The most recent eruption 1,300 years ago produced the Big Obsidian Flow. Thus, the volcano's long history and recent activity indicate that Newberry will erupt in the future. The most-visited part of the volcano is Newberry Crater, a volcanic depression or caldera at the summit of the volcano. Seven campgrounds, two resorts, six summer homes, and two major lakes (East and Paulina Lakes) are nestled in the caldera. The caldera has been the focus of Newberry's volcanic activity for at least the past 10,000 years. Other eruptions during this time have occurred along a rift zone on the volcano's northwest flank and, to a lesser extent, the south flank. Many striking volcanic features lie in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The monument includes the caldera and extends along the northwest rift zone to the Deschutes River. About 30 percent of the area within the monument is covered by volcanic products erupted during the past 10,000 years from Newberry volcano. Newberry volcano is presently quiet. Local earthquake activity (seismicity) has been trifling throughout historic time. Subterranean heat is still present, as indicated by hot springs in the caldera and high temperatures encountered during exploratory drilling for geothermal energy. This report describes the kinds of hazardous geologic events that might occur in the future at Newberry volcano. A hazard-zonation map is included to show the areas that will most likely be affected by renewed eruptions. In terms of our own lifetimes, volcanic events at Newberry are not of day-to-day concern because they occur so infrequently; however, the consequences of some types of eruptions can be severe. When Newberry volcano becomes restless, be it tomorrow or many years from now, the eruptive scenarios described herein can inform planners, emergency response personnel, and citizens about the kinds and sizes of events to expect.
First posted August 1, 2008
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Sherrod, D. R., Mastin, L. G., Scott, W. E., and Schilling, S. P., 1997, Volcano hazards at Newberry Volcano, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-513, 14 p., 1 plate, scale 1:100,000, https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1997/0513/.
Hazardous volcanic phenomena
Volcano hazard zonation
Monitoring and warnings
Suggestions for further reading