WATCH: Oregon's 'Big Obsidian Lava Flow' Is a Geologic Oddity

WATCH: Oregon's 'Big Obsidian Lava Flow' Is a Geologic Oddity

Nature

WATCH: Oregon's 'Big Obsidian Lava Flow' Is a Geologic Oddity

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Just south of Bend, Oregon sits the mighty Newberry Volcano. The Newberry Volcano is the second biggest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. Despite this volcano not being some alpine monster like Mount Saint Helens, it covers an area the size of Rhode Island.

The Big Obsidian Lava Flow is a geologic wonder. According to the Forest Service, the Newberry Volcano erupted approximately 1,300 years ago. It produced a beautiful flow of obsidian, a semi-precious, stone. Obsidian is a black volcanic glass-like rock that was the result of the rapid cooling of high-silica lava during the eruption. It is believed the lava cooled in a matter of minutes and the result is these large pieces of obsidian.

The Big Obsidian Flow contains 166-million tons of obsidian with some chunks of this mineral being larger than humans. The area of the flow spreads over 1.09-square miles and is 66-feet thick. In other words, it’s huge.

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