Gravity and aeromagnetic constraints on the structure of the Wods Mountains volcanic center, southeastern california


The Woods Mountain volcanic center is a well-exposed, mildly alkaline volcanic center that formed during the Miocene in southeastern California. Detailed geologic mapping and geochemical studies have distinguished three major volcanic phases: precaldera, caldera forming, and postcaldera. Geologic mapping indicates that caldera formation occurred incrementally during eruptions of three large ignimbrites and continued into a period of voluminous intracaldera lava-flow eruptions. Rhyolitic ignimbrites and lava flows within the caldera are associated with large amplitude, circular gravity, and magnetic minima that are among the most prominent gravity and magnetic anomalies in southeastern California. Analysis of a Bouguer gravity anomaly map, reduced-to-the-pole magnetic intensity map, and three-dimensional gravity and magnetic models indicates that there is a single, funnel-to bowl-shaped caldera approximately 4 km thick and approximately 10 km wide at the surface. This model is consistent with other siliceous, pyroclastic-filled calderas on continental crust, except that most siliceous volcanic centers associated with more than one eruption are characterized by more than one caldera.

Document Type





Caldera, Gravity anomalies, Ignimbrites, Magnetic anomalies

Publication Date


Journal Title

Bulletin of Volcanology