Taos County, NM
— September 23, 2021
In 2013, President Barack Obama invoked the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos County. Part of the wording of this 115-year-old act allows for the protection of features of "scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States", of which there are many in the Rio Grande gorge and surrounding canyons and volcanoes. Since 2017, I have collaboratively studied sediments in between lava flows in the gorge. With help and expertise from colleagues from UNM, UC Boulder, and the NMBGMR, we are working toward better understanding of the paleoenvironmental conditions that existed during the ~2 million-year-long eruptive history of the Taos Plateau Volcanic Field during the Pliocene Epoch. We're also refining the timing and duration of individual eruptions, as well as gaining insights into the fluvial evolution of the Rio Grande, Red River, and alluvial fans draining the Sangre de Cristos and Tusas Range.
— Kevin Hobbs, Field Geologist, NMBGMR