cinder cone

Cinder cones are small volcanoes born when lava, explosively ejected from a new vent, cools in air as glassy or gassy small particles, which rain down and form a hill around the vent. Lava flows may appear around the base of the cone. Typically built in one eruptive period, cinder cones tend to occur in clusters, as in the region around Sunset Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona, or in the area of Newberry Crater in central Oregon. Most in the American West are of basalt or andesite, thus dark in color, and under a thousand feet in height. A large and famous cinder cone is Paricutín, born in 1943 in a cornfield southeast of Guadalajara, Mexico. The cone was observed to grow from a hissing six-foot mound to a 1,100-foot mountain in the course of a single year. A church tower is all that now shows of a buried village.

John Daniel