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Carrizozo Malpaís and White Sands National Monument, USA

33.7N 105.9W

October 9th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Volcanoes

USA – October 8th, 2012

The elongated brown area in this image is the Carrizozo Malpais, a large lava flow on the west side of Carrizozo, New Mexico, on the northern part of the Tularosa Basin between Sierra Blanca to the southeast and the Oscura Mountains to the west.

The lava making up the flow came from Little Black Peak, about 10 miles north-northwest of Carrizozo, and went about 40 miles south-southwest down the bottom of Tularosa Basin in a series of recent (the last 1,000-1,500 years ago) active flows. At their southern end, the lava flows are about 12 miles north of the dune fields of White Sands National Monument.

The White Sands National Monument, easily spotted as a bright white area south of the lava flow, is located about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Alamogordo in western Otero County and northeastern Doña Ana County in the state of New Mexico, at an elevation of 4235 feet (1291 m). The area is in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin and comprises the southern part of a 710-km² (275-mi²) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals.

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