Nevada August 10, 2019
Few People Realize There’s An Active Volcanic Field Right Here In Nevada
When you think of volcanos, Nevada isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind. Instead, you might think of Hawaii’s iconic volcanic landscape or Washington’s famous Mount Saint Helens eruption. However, there are regions of Nevada where volcanic activity can be found, and one of them is incredibly active. In fact, this volcanic field has been used by humans for generations. You may have even visited it yourself without even realizing that you were on top of an active volcanic field! Keep reading to learn all about this hot spot of geothermal activity and where you’ll find it in our state.
When you hear the term "volcanic field", you probably picture some sort of fiery hellscape complete with bubbling magma. However, that's not at all what you'll find at Nevada's most active volcanic field found in the historic destination of Steamboat Springs.
Steamboat Springs is located just south of Reno, and it's technically considered a volcanic field of rhyolitic lava domes. Sounds intense, right? It may not look like the typical image of volcanos we're all familiar with, but it's actually considered hydrothermally very active.
The field is estimated to be between 2.5 and 1.1 million years old. Comprised of approximately 50 hot springs, steam vents, and fumaroles, this place is just booming with geothermal activity.
Although the volcanic field hasn't had an actual eruption during the Holocene Era (which began 12,000 years ago and continues to this day), it's still very much considered an active volcano for its constant hydrothermal activity.
Of course, humans have been taking advantage of this activity ever since it was discovered. A hot springs bathhouse was first established back in the 1860s, and it's home to one of the oldest hot springs resorts to this day.
Today, you can visit the Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and see for yourself what it's like to soak in volcanically produced hot spring water! Boasting both indoor and outdoor tubs, the healing center and spa is one of the most relaxing destinations in the state—and it's all thanks to the volcanic field that's situated right underneath it.
A geothermal plant was even constructed back in the 1980s and it's been in use ever since. The plant is capable of putting out 100 megawatts, which is enough to power every residence in the city of Reno.
The volcanic field at Steamboat Springs may not look as intimidating as a towering volcano that's spewing lava, but there's definitely some interesting things going on beneath the surface. It just goes to show that there's so much more to Nevada's landscapes than you think.
Did you know that Steamboat Springs was located on an active volcanic field? When you put it like that, it sounds pretty intense! Check out another unique destination when you read about
This Geologic Wonder In Nevada That Looks Completely Otherworldly.