Monday, November 24, 2014

Planetary Volcanology field trip to the Pinacate Volcanic Field (November 22-23, 2014)

I joined a field trip to the Pinacate Volcanic Field in Northern Mexico this past weekend. It was a part of the Planetary Volcanology class taught by David Williams and Amanda Clarke. It was beautiful and very interesting. I had never been there, but just stared at it on google earth:

In this post, I present some field photographs from the tour, followed by a few slides from Amanda Clarke from a lecture on Water-Magma Interactions:

Crater Elegante

The Pinacates are in a biospheric reserve:
Crater Elegante: nice example of the phreatomagmatic features in great evidence.
Nice bomb sag in the surge units.
Amanda Clarke explaining the eruption-related features.
Model for Crater Elegante formation.
As we drove around, we saw some nice tephra that Amanda got excited about.

Conos Tecolote y Mayo

Overview looking south at the Sierra Pinacate. Note boundary between the more vegetated and tephra covered flow to left with fresher looking darker flow to right.

Cerro Colorado

View to the northeast looking at Cerro Colorado (feature to the right middle ground).
Cerro Colorado layered mostly surge deposits (view to east).
Cerro Colorado layered mostly surge deposits (note various clast compositions).
Cerro Colorado view towards the southwest; note nested "hippodrome" of late stage eruptive center(?).
Some lapilli--mostly armored, a few accretionary.

Water - Magma interactions

Amanda shared a few slides with me.
Cool slide showing the eruption energy versus water/magma ratio and the various phenomena and forms we may observe.
Forms versus eruption energy with increasing interaction with water.

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