Deposits of the most recent eruption in the southern Mono Craters, California: description, interpretation and implications for regional marker tephras

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Volume 275, p.114-131 (2014)


The penultimate eruption in the Mono Craters, Mono County, CA, USA, occurred in the southern section of the volcanic chain, and is herein named the South Mono eruption. The South Mono eruption occurred in 594–648cal A.D., and its products consist of widespread Plinian and phreatomagmatic fall, surge and pyroclastic flow deposits. The explosive deposits can be broken into Basal, Orange–Brown (surge dominated) and Upper subunits. The eruptive phase represented by the Upper beds was the most intense and voluminous, dispersing tephra over a wide region of eastern CA and western NV. South Coulee was the only effusive product of the eruption, and comprises the vast majority of the c. 0.4 cu km dense-rock equivalent (DRE) volume. The tephra overlies the deposits of Wilson Butte to the south, and is correlated herein with Wood's Tephra 2, and Walker Lake and Turupah Flats regional marker tephra layers. Other dates for these regional tephras may be the result of dating ash redeposited in debris flow events following fire.