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Diamond Craters
DiamondCratersMalheurMaar.jpg
Malheur Maar, the only lake-filled maar in Diamond Craters
Highest point
Elevation 4,707 ft (1,435 m)
Geography
Location Harney County, Oregon, U.S.
Parent range Basin and Range
Topo map USGS Diamond Swamp
Geology
Age of rock 7320 to 7790 calendar years. B.P.
Mountain type Volcanic field / shield volcano
Climbing
Easiest route roads and trails

The Diamond Craters is a monogenetic volcanic field about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Burns, Oregon. The field consists of a 27-square-mile (70 km2) area of basaltic lava flows, cinder cones, and maars. The reexamination of radiocarbon dates from older studies and interpretation of paleomagnetic data and new radiocarbon dates limits the eruption of volcanic vents in this volcanic field to the time period between 7320 and 7790 calendar years B.P.

Diamond Craters and the nearby Diamond post office were named after the Diamond Ranch, established in the area by the pioneer Mace McCoy. The ranch used a diamond-shaped brand, hence the name.

In the 1970s, Diamond Craters was a source of controversy between the Bureau of Land Management and commercial stonecutters who were illegally removing slabs of lava to sell as veneer for fireplaces, home exteriors, and chimneys. Geologists familiar with the area cited the craters' unusual research value, a "museum of basaltic volcanic features" apt to be destroyed by slab harvesting and associated heavy equipment. In 1982, the area gained additional protection when it was designated an Outstanding Natural Area.

Notable vents

Name Elevation Coordinates Last eruption
Big Bomb Crater 1,308 metres (4,291 ft) - -
Central Crater Complex 1,378 metres (4,521 ft) - -
Cloverleaf Crater - - -
Dry Maar 1,268 metres (4,160 ft) - -
East Twin Crater 1,326 metres (4,350 ft) - -
Keyhole Explosion Crater - - -
Lava Pit Crater 1,305 metres (4,281 ft) - -
Little Red Cone - - -
Malheur Maar 1,286 metres (4,219 ft) - -
Nolf Crater - - -
Oval Crater - - -
Red Bomb Crater 1,323 metres (4,341 ft) - -
West Twin Crater 1,326 metres (4,350 ft) - -
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