November 19, 2010 #121 – Visit to a New Mexico Cinder Cone.

We visited the Capulin Volcano National Monument today. This cone shaped mountain has many analogs in the solar system. We saw collapsed lava tubes, lava flows, and lava cliffs with strata. In fact I was reminded a lot of the pictures of mars being transmitted by the rovers over the last few years. The lava is the same color and texture. The main difference of coarse is the vegetative cover.

As I stood on the crater rim at 8100 ft. I could see 50 miles across the plains. All along the rift were volcanoes in a line. The lava flow patterns were easy to identify even after 10's of thousands of years.

 As I looked east, the almost full moon was rising into the pale blue sky. As I watched, it occurred to me that we are much more fortunate than Martians would have been. Our spectacular satellite is a wonder to behold, and I think what events she has shown upon. Imagine the fire fountains spraying thousands of feet into the sky, building the cone, rivers and pools of lava, with her hanging over the scene in the night. Lighting would play in the clouds of ash and the moons light would cast wandering shadows over all. Then I wonder was any man here to take this all in. Just 8 miles to the north east is the Folsom Site where early artifacts dating around 10,000 years have been excavated. I wonder how long before this were humans in the area. I went to where they would have stood and looked back towards the mountain.

(Click to enlarge)

(A line of cones along the rift)

 (Inside the cone)

(50 miles east more cinder cones)

(Capulin Volcano)

 Clear Sky - Rich

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