Massachusetts Has Volcanoes That Are Millions of Years Old
Massachusetts has at least two volcanoes that date back hundreds of millions of years.
Are they active?
While researching something entirely unrelated, I stumbled upon an article by Edgar B. Herwick III on Boston Public Broadcasting station WGBH.
In the article, Boston University research professor Robert Buchwaldt, a geologist, said, "Roxbury – as quiet as it is today – around 600 million years ago, this was an active volcanic scene."
The 2018 article says the volcano's eruption "would have had much more in common with Mt. Fuego's recent sudden, violent bursting in Guatemala than the steady ongoing molten hot oozing at Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii."
Buchwaldt doesn't believe the volcano has much chance of erupting again, at least not in our lifetime.
WBSM and Fun 107 reported in June 2018 on new research that indicates a "super volcano" may be forming under parts of New England, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Some in the scientific community dispute the research.
In any event, Roxbury is not the only volcano in Massachusetts. Mount Tom in Holyoke, a part of the Mount Tom Range/Metacomet Ridge in Western Massachusetts, dates back at least 200 million years.
Academic.com says much of the ridge "is composed of basalt, also called traprock, a volcanic rock."
"The mountain formed near the end of the Triassic Period with the rifting apart of the North American continent from Africa and Eurasia," the site reports. "Lava welled up from the rift and solidified into sheets of strata hundreds of feet thick."
Faulting and earthquake activity tilted the strata, "creating the dramatic cliffs and ridges of Mount Tom."
Like Roxbury, Mount Tom poses no immediate threat to public safety.