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The formation of Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Cinder Cone, a 215 m (700 ft) tall volcanic cone located in the northern part of Lassen Volcanic National Park, is the youngest mafic volcano in the Lassen region and the second youngest eruption in the Twin Lakes sequence. Cinder Cone erupted in the year 1666 (about 350 years ago) and consists of five basaltic andesite and andesite lava flows, two cinder cones and a widespread mafic ash-fall deposit. All of these erupted over a short time interval.

There are actually two scoria cones at Cinder Cone—the remnants of a nearly completely buried earlier cone can be seen on the larger cone’s south side. Much of the earlier cone was probably destroyed by lava flows erupting from its base. Blocks of red, cemented scoria within the Painted Dunes lava flows (see the geologic map) are pieces of this earlier cone, which were carried away by the flowing lava.