Sunday, 25 August 2013

Wizard Island & Crater Lake

Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone which forms an island at the west end of Crater Lake in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

Wizard Island. Credit: USGS

The top of the island reaches 2,113m above sea level, about 230m above the average surface of the lake. The cone is capped by a volcanic crater about 150m wide and 30m deep. The crater was named the "Witches Cauldron" by Will G Steel in 1885, who also gave Wizard Island its name at the same time. The land area of the island is just under 316 acres.

Wizard Island was created after Mount Mazama, a large stratovolcano, erupted violently some 7,700 years ago, forming the caldera which now contains Crater Lake. Following the cataclysmic eruption, which left a hole about 1,200 m deep where the mountain had once stood, a series of smaller eruptions over the next several hundred years formed several cinder cones on the caldera floor. The highest of these, and the only one to rise above the current lake level, is that of Wizard Island, which rises over 820 m above the lowest point on the caldera floor and the deepest point in the lake.

Wizard Island in summer

Another large cinder cone, Merriam Cone, is located in the north-east part of the lake. It rises about 430 m above the caldera floor, but its summit is still 154m below the average lake level. Its surface features and lack of a crater indicate that Merriam Cone formed underwater.

What a nice place!