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The Jornada volcano

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Drone view of the Jornada volcano

Socorro County, NM
— March 29, 2021

The Jornada volcano, one of the largest shield volcanoes in NM, is located about 35 miles south of Socorro. This volcano was once thought to be ~760,000 years old, but new dating indicates it is only 79,000 years old, making it one of the younger volcanoes in the region! Lava flows erupted from the central vent (a cinder cone on top of the shield volcano) flowed west (left in the photo) to near the present level of the Rio Grande. Thus, the age of the flow helps to constrain the incision history of river. You can read more about dating of the volcano and the implications for landscape development in this recently published Geosphere article. The volcano is located on private land, but the flows can be observed from the west side of the Rio Grande at Fort Craig National Historic Site.

— Matt Zimmerer, NMBGMR Field Geologist