Volcanic Fields of North America

Kent Ratajeski and Brian Stogner
Published Oct. 15, 2006

Sunset crater
Sunset Crater, a prominent, young cinder cone in the San Francisco Volcanic Field of northern Arizona. Details


In this activity, students gather gather data from selected North American volcanic fields which were active during the Cenozoic. Geographic, age, and geochemical data from each volcanic field are easily obtained from the North American Volcanic and Intrusive Rock Database (NAVDAT). Students are asked to compare and contrast the geochemical and age data, classify the field by geochemical criteria, and make hypotheses for the similarities and differences that they observe. This exercise provides a broad overview of the volcanic history of North America as well as opportunities to explore features of individual volcanic fields.

This exercise is one of several examples featured in the Geoscience Education in the New Cyberinfrastructure module at SERC. Each example is designed to give instructors and students direct practice for using cyberinformatic databases and tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin with the Introduction.

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