Love to see this new map of the McDermitt Caldera by authors Christopher D. Henry, Steven B. Castor, William A. Starkel, Ben S. Ellis, John A. Wolff, William C. McIntosh, and Matthew T. Heizler posted on the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology blog. I just learned about the caldera in a book I'm reading (Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail by Keith Heyer Meldahl). It's the westernmost of the calderas created by the Snake River-Yellowstone caldera tract, which has created a series of them across the intermountain US West roughly along the course of the Snake River between Yellowstone and Humboldt County, Nevada. The most accepted thinking has been that they are made as the earth's crust moves across "hot spots" (although this thinking has been recently challenged; again courtesy of Hard Road West, 167-177). I saw the book's rough map and noticed that the westernmost is essentially between King's River and McDermitt, so it was really cool to hear about a new map. Although it is obviously more for specialists than "casual" desert explorers, when the new map is compared to Google Maps the caldera is clearly discernible.
The introduction to the map explains more about the formation of the caldera. High points that still remain to the north are the Trout Creek and Oregon Canyon Mountains and to the south the Double H Mountains. Kings River Valley on the west and Quinn River Valley on the east are the result of much later faulting. It is so exciting to explore, and now that I know what I'm looking for, it will be very interesting to visit the area again.
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