Rocky Mountain (56th Annual) and Cordilleran (100th Annual) Joint Meeting (May 3–5, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


OWEN, Douglass E., Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, National Park Service, P.O. Box 29, Arco, ID 83213 and SMITH, Sara C., Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Bureau of Land Management, 400 West F St, Shoshone, ID 83358, Doug_Owen@NPS.GOV

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve protects ~750,000 acres (1,100 sq. miles) encompassing most of the Great Rift, which is the best expressed example of a volcanic rift zone on the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP). Of the eight geologically young lava fields on the ESRP, the Monument manages the three youngest, and therefore, the least weathered. The Kings Bowl and Wapi lava fields and much of the Craters of the Moon lava field are approximately 2,000 years old, making these lava fields phenomenal locations for observing geologic features associated with basaltic volcanism.

The Monument provides a remarkable outdoor classroom setting for studying and viewing spatter cones, lava tubes, tree molds, and many other volcanic features because they are so easily accessible. Amateur and professional geologists from all over the world visit the Monument to study text-book examples of such features as deep open-crack rift sets, tumuli, pressure plateaus, cinder cones, spatter ramparts, and hornitos. These outstanding volcanic features also attract geology field camps from all over the country.

Thousands of Earth-Science students (K-12 and beyond) visit Craters of the Moon each year to explore and learn about the volcanic geology and the life that makes its home in this harsh volcanic landscape and high desert environment. The Monument helps teachers by offering workshops, seminars, and other special programs. Teachers' guides, fact sheets, animation clips, and other geo-educational products are available from the Monument and related web sites (e.g., and