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Fort Rock is a volcanic landmark called a tuff ring, located on an ice age lake bed in north Lake County, Oregon, United States. The ring is about 4460ft in diameter and stands about 200ft high above the surrounding plain. Its name is derived from the tall, straight sides that resemble the palisades of a fort. The region of Fort Rock Basin contains about 40 such tuff rings and maars and is located in the Brothers Fault Zone of central Oregon's Great Basin. William Sullivan, an early settler in the area, named Fort Rock in 1873 while searching for lost cattle.GeologyFort Rock was created when basalt magma rose to the surface and encountered the wet muds of a lake bottom. Powered by a jet of steam, molten basalt was blown into the air, creating a fountain of hot lava particles and frothy ash. The pieces and blobs of hot lava and ash rained down around the vent and formed a saucer-shaped ring of lapilli tuff and volcanic ash sitting like an island in the lake waters. Steam explosions also loosened angular chunks of black and red lava rock comprising the valley floor. These blocky inclusions are incorporated into the fine-grained tuff layers at Fort Rock. Waves from the lake waters eroded the outside of the ring, cutting the steep cliffs into terraces 66ft above the floor of Fort Rock Valley.With our world travel planner, United States vacations can be built around trips to Fort Rock and other destinations in United States.
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