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Geologic Tour of the Southern High Plains

Tour site types: State Parks  Federal Parks  Other Features
(Click map to hide/show the physiographic province overlay.)

Brief Description

The High Plains province covers the eastern 1/4th of the state of New Mexico. Mildly deformed Permian and Triassic sedimentary rocks capped by the late Miocene-Pliocene Ogallala Formation, an important aquifer, are exposed in the southeastern and east-central parts of the state. The northwest part of the Permian Basin, which is rich in oil and gas, underlies southeastern New Mexico.

The Raton Basin, a source of coal-bed methane, and the Raton-Clayton and Ocate volcanic fields are in northeastern New Mexico.

high plains
Antelope on the high plains of Union County, NM.
Geoff Rawling


  1. Land, L., Lueth, V.W., Raatz, W., Boston, P., Love, D.L., 2006, Caves and karst of southeastern New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 57th Fall Field Conference, 344 pp.
  2. Lucas, S.G., and Ulmer-Scholle, D.S., 2001, Geology of the Llano Estacado: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 52nd Fall Field Conference, 340 pp.
  3. Muehlberger, W.R., Muehlberger, S.J., and Price, L.G, 2005, High Plains of northeastern New Mexico: a guide to geology and culture: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Scenic Trip 19, 102 pp.