arizona, petrology

A journey to the center of the Earth | Peridotite xenoliths

You don’t need to go on a Jules Verne journey down to the center of the Earth, sometimes the center of the Earth is brought up to us! These rocks are examples of peridotite xenoliths. A xenolith is a fragment of rock that becomes enveloped by magma without being melted or incorporated into it. In these… Continue reading A journey to the center of the Earth | Peridotite xenoliths

volcanology

Pinacate Volcanic Field 

Located in far northwest Sonora, Mexico, the Pinacate volcanic field comprises a 1,500 km2 area of Pleistocene lava flows with over 400 cinder cones and 8 maars. The volcanoes in the Pinacate are monogenetic—meaning they erupt only once and each have a unique magmatic signature. The field today is part of El Pinacate and Gran… Continue reading Pinacate Volcanic Field 

arizona, volcanology

San Francisco Volcanic Field

Located just north of Flagstaff, Arizona, the San Francisco volcanic field comprises an area of 1,800 sq miles and contains around 600 volcanoes. These volcanoes range in age from 6 million years old to less than 1,000 years old. Given their location on the Colorado Plateau, many volcanoes have experienced little erosion (like SP Crater… Continue reading San Francisco Volcanic Field

mars, volcanology

Volcanism on Mars

Mars is home to Olympus Mons (pictured above), the largest volcano in the solar system. Rising 21-24 km from the surrounding area, Olympus Mons is the dominant spot in the Tharsis region, which is the largest topographic feature on the planet. The Tharsis volcanic province covers close to 25% of the planet’s surface and houses… Continue reading Volcanism on Mars