Volcanic and shallow intrusive features of the deeply dissected 34 Ma Grizzly Peak caldera in west-central Colorado record evolution of the magmatic center from pre-caldera through post-resurgent stages. Pre-caldera dikes, zones of hydrothermally altered rocks, and lava flows formed along a circular swarm of cone-sheet fractures around the site of the future caldera. Early, largely rhyolitic uppercrustal magmatism culminated in the caldera-forming eruption of the Grizzly Peak Tuff. Intracaldera tuff is zoned from high-silica rhyolite at the base to low-silica rhyolite at the eroded top and, further, contains dacite to mafic latite pumice lumps in two heterogeneous tuff layers in the upper third of the preserved section.
Half of the erupted tuff ponded in the 17-by 23-km, >600-km3 caldera, filling the asymmetric depression to a compacted thickness locally >2.7 km, including intercalated rock-avalanche megabreccias shed from ring-fault scarps. The asymmetric caldera has an inner ring-fracture zone that separates two structural segments that collapsed to different depths. Caldera fill buried collapse structures as they formed; the inner ring-fracture zone is a growth (or syn-depositional) fault in the single-cooling-unit tuff. Welded-tuff ring dikes are locally exposed at erosion levels below the caldera fill. These dikes are remnants of fissure vents in the outer ring-fracture zone.
Following collapse, the Grizzly Peak caldera was uplifted, forming a complexly faulted resurgent dome. Resurgence resulted partly from emplacement of a composite granodiorite laccolith now exposed in the eroded core of the dome. A belt of mafic latite to rhyolite porphyry dikes and small stocks formed across the center of the domed caldera during the waning of the magmatic center. Latite intrusions in this suite represent the penetration of relatively mafic magma to the surface following solidification of the felsic subcaldera batholith.