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•Twenty percent of the U. S. National Parks and Monuments based on volcanic themes are in New Mexico. There are more here than Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington combined.
•The type example and one of the largest young calderas in the world (Valles Caldera) is in New Mexico. Yellowstone is a caldera, but it is a less visually obvious example of this type of volcanic landform.
•Two of the largest young basaltic lava flows in the world (Carrizozo and McCartys) are in New Mexico. Some of the geological terms for surface features on lava flows were first defined here in New Mexico, not Hawaii.
•One of the greatest concentrations of young volcanic steam explosion craters (referred to as "maars" by geologists), occur in New Mexico. Zuni Salt Lake Crater and Kilbourne Hole Crater are two maars in New Mexico often used as type examples in textbooks. The remains of maars literally fill White Rock Canyon and they pepper the surfaces of many of the other volcanic fields, like the Mount Taylor and Potrillo fields. They are more abundant, better preserved, and more diversely exposed than those in the type area (Eifel district of Germany). European geologists come here to learn about maars.
•Several of the largest concentrations of young cinder cones (exemplified by the Raton-Clayton, Zuni-Bandera, and Potrillo fields for starters) are in New Mexico.
•The greatest concentration and best-exposed examples of young volcanic necks in the world are in New Mexico (Rio Puerco Valley).
•The greatest diversity of young volcanic rock types and classic suites of volcanic rocks (for example, the Mount Taylor and the Raton-Clayton volcanic fields) occur in New Mexico.
•The Datil-Mogollon region of New Mexico is one of the largest concentrations of resurgent calderas. These are more eroded than the Valles Caldera, but they are in the same state of exposure as the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, another collection of mid-Tertiary resurgent calderas. You would have to go to the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska, or even Armenia to see something similar.
Two of the largest young basaltic lava flows in the world (Carrizozo and McCartys) are in New Mexico. Some of the geological terms for surface features on lava flows were first defined here in New Mexico, not Hawaii.