Buzzard Creek


  • Seismically Monitored: No
  • Color Code: UNASSIGNED
  • Alert Level: UNASSIGNED
  • Elevation: 830m (2723ft)
  • Latitude: 64.061082
  • Longitude: -148.431932
  • Smithsonian VNum: 315001
  • Pronunciation:
  • Nearby Towns:
    • Ferry 16 mi (25 km) SW
    • Healy 21 mi (35 km) SW
    • Denali Borough 22 mi (35 km) SW
    • McKinley Park 27 mi (43 km) SW
    • Anderson 30 mi (48 km) NW


From Wood and Kienle (1990) [1] : "The Buzzard Creek craters are two tuff rings at the headwaters of Buzzard Creek, a tributary of the Totatlanika River, near Healy at the northern foot of the central Alaska Range. The two craters are shallow and contain small lakes. Rim ejecta contain 80% country rock fragments and 20% juvenile basaltic material, suggesting a phreatomagmatic origin. The basalt rests on the youngest glacial terraces on Buzzard Creek, which are correlated with the Riley Creek glaciation that ended ~10,000 yr BP. Three C14 dates from charcoal samples above and below the basaltic ejecta give an age of eruption of ~3,000 yr BP, in agreement with stratigraphic evidence of a Holocene age. A 300-m-wide ejecta blanket associated with the larger crater can be traced 1.6 km from the vent. The total volume of the ejecta probably does not exceed 1 million cubic m, of which only 20% is volcanic, consisting of vesicular basalt lapilli and small bombs.
"The Buzzard Creek craters, though insignificant in the volume of ejecta, are of regional tectonic interest because they occur on trend with the Aleutian arc structure and are situated directly over the northernmost corner of the subducting Pacific plate. The easternmost known volcano of the Aleutian arc is Hayes volcano, 320 km southwest of the Buzzard Creek craters. Whether the craters are tectonically linked to the Aleutian subduction zone is not clear."

Name Origin

The Buzzard Creek craters are informally named after the nearby Buzzard Creek. Buzzard Creek was named by early prospectors, and reported as a place name in 1907 (Brooks, Orth, 1971).

References Cited

[1] Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada, 1990

Wood, C. A., and Kienle, Juergen, (eds.), 1990, Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada: New York, Cambridge University Press, 354 p.

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