Colorado Nature December 29, 2018
by Annie Here Are 9 Unexpectedly Awesome Facts About Colorado’s Active Volcano
If you are a longtime reader of Only in Colorado, you may remember last year when we took a look at
an active volcano that few people realize is right here in Colorado (which has been challenged and confirmed by several news outlets). We know that the mighty Dotsero erupted thousands of years ago and spewed lava over where I-70 now sits, but what else do we know about this surprising landmark?
1. As per the U.S. Geological Survey's 2018 National Volcanic Threat Assessment, Dotsero is considered to be a moderate threat.
While the term "moderate" may sound slightly terrifying, don’t panic. Experts say that the chances of it erupting anytime in the next 1,000+ years are slim to none.
2. The last time Dotsero erupted was over 4,000 years ago.
For perspective, Egypt's iconic Great Pyramids were being constructed at the same that Dotsero was covering the Colorado countryside in ash!
3. Just how can scientists decipher when the last eruption took place? They do so by studying radiocarbon dating on wood found under the scoria.
4. What the heck is scoria?!
Scoria are the dark covered volcanic rocks that contain several holes created by coming in contact with the volcano's hot magma.
5. Dotsero is a maar volcano.
Just what is a maar volcano? Maar volcanoes combust when groundwater comes in contact with underground magma, resulting in the destructive expansion of magmatic gas or steam.
6. How many people can say they've hiked a volcano? You can!
7. Dotsero spans a whopping 2,300 feet wide and 1,300 feet deep.
If you think that’s a large area, just wait until you check out the two-mile lava stream it left behind, which can still be made out today!
8. The hot magma beneath the surface of Dotsero is the heat source for the nearby Glenwood Hot Springs.
It’s something fascinating to think about the next time you're soaking away your stress in Glenwood's all-natural mineral pools!
9. Before the railroads were constructed, the community of Dotsero's largest industry was making cinderblocks from the volcano.
While making cinderblocks is nothing to scoff at, the area's big money maker came during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as Dotsero was an important hub for the now defunct Denver & Salt Lake Railway.
Have you explored the amazing Dotsero volcano? It’s truly an opportunity that every Coloradan should take advantage of! Share your experiences (and photos from your adventures) with us in the comments below.
For even more incredible Colorado landmarks, check out these
13 Historical Landmarks You Absolutely Must Visit In Colorado.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.