Image of the Day — Organ Mountains Panorama
Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Image taken: 05/02/2011by: Matthew Zimmerer
(WGS 84 or NAD 83)
About this image
Rising nearly a mile above Las Cruces is the jagged crest of the Organ Needles, the backbone of the Organ Mountains. Few skylines in southern New Mexico are as inspirational to artists, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Although views of the Organ Mountains reflecting the glow of the setting sun can induce a sense of tranquility, the scene here 36 million years ago was far from peaceful. Instead, three caldera-forming super-eruptions rocked the region, marking the beginning of a volcanic episode that would forever change the face of southwestern New Mexico. Following these explosive eruptions, the Organ caldera was ripped apart by large-scale faulting, providing geologists with a unique opportunity to study both the erupted volcanic rocks and the crystallized magma chambers beneath them.
For more information, see our geologic tour of Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument.
Image posted: 02-06-2020