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White Sands and Carrizozo Malpais Lava Flow Between Rio Grande and Pecos River, USA

32.8N 106.3W

January 12th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Rivers, Volcanoes

USA - December 26th, 2010

The Rio Grande flows southward, more or less vertically, across the middle of this image of the western USA, focusing on the state of New Mexico. In the full image, the Pecos River can be seen as a faint line running parallel to the Rio Grande. The two rivers join further south near Del Rio.

Also of note is the white patch near the image center. It is a 710-km² (275-mi²) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals, the southern part of which is known as the White Sands National Monument.

Just north of the white sands is the Carrizozo Malpais, a large lava flow that appears as a brownish line with thicker bulbs on its northern and southern extremes.

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