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This 300 m (1000 ft) tall cinder cone is now preserved by the National Park Service, one of three monuments administered by the Flagstaff Area National Monuments.
The other two parks, Wupatki and Walnut Canyon National Monuments preserve archaeological features. Geology, petrology and geochemistry of the eastern San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona: Ph.
The exact date for the onset of eruptive activity at Sunset Crater remains elusive.
The volcano is home to one of the Hopi spirit beings, the Kana’a Katsina and stories of the eruption are embedded in Hopi oral history. Archaeologists have excavated basalt cobbles with corn impressions from nearby pit houses. These “corn rocks” (Figure 4) were likely deliberately formed by placing corn on the rim of a hornito and allowing the spatter to cover it (Elson, et al., 2002; Elson and Ort, 2003). After the eruption was over, in ~ AD 1100, a thriving community began to flourish 30 km (20 mi) to the north at Wupatki (Figure 5). More recent paleomagnetic studies show the onset of the eruption occurred between AD 1040 and AD 1100 (Ort et al., 2002). (2008b) Mineralogy of Fumarole Deposits at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Northern Arizona: Rocks and Minerals, 83 (6) p.534-544. The ~115 year duration has also been reevaluated because cinder cones typically erupt only once, and for much shorter durations.