NPS Response to Sunset Crater Eruption Claim

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Date: June 4, 2015
Contact: Cecilia Shields, (928) 526-1157 (X228)

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument Response to Claims of New Eruption

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA –The National Park Service has received numerous inquiries about the possibility of current volcanic activity at Sunset Crater Volcano. The internet source of the purported eruption is based upon a black and white satellite image. The report is not from an academic source or part a scientific agency, such as the United States Geological Survey. Furthermore, no activity has been observed on the ground by park rangers staffing the National Monument. 

Sunset Crater Volcano, part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, is an extinct cinder cone. Local cinder cones are created by a one-time eruption event and are not known to erupt more than once. Sunset Crater Volcano erupted over 900 years ago, making it the youngest cinder cone in a field of over 600 volcanoes. It is now extinct, and not anticipated to erupt again. 

According to many geologists, the San Francisco Volcanic Field is still considered to be active, so it's possible that an eruption could occur during the next 1,000 to 5,000 years somewhere east of Flagstaff, Arizona. Come visit Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument to see for yourself and learn more about your park.

Last updated: June 4, 2015

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