Valle Grande Caldera, Jemez Mountains

Above are photos I took of the part of the Valle Grande Caldera you can see from NM Highway 4 which runs through the Jemez Mountains.

Unless noted else wise, all photos were taken by Nancy López, 2002

The Jemez mountains are what is left of a series of major volcanic eruptions that occurred about one million years ago. The volcanic activity in the Jemez area probably began in the 65 to 54 million years ago and has continued to about 50,000 years ago. Redondo Peak at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, is what is left of the original peak. The peaks on the rim of the caldera are between 10,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level.

The eruptions of 1 million years ago threw out around 100 cubic miles of ash leaving a caldera 20 miles across. The tuff deposits on the outside of the caldera are nearly 1000 feet deep in some places. Steep canyon were cut by erosion. These canyons include Frijoles, Water, Valle, Pueblo, Los Alamos, Guaje and Santa Clara.

A Secret Garden: New Mexico's Valles Caldera Geology
Valles Caldera, Jemez Volcanic Field
Resurgent Calderas and the Valles Caldera

Click here for a Topographical rendering of a
portion of the Jemez Mountains, Valles Caldera.

Sky Island - New Mexico's Jemez Mountains

Creek in the Valles Caldera - New Mexico

Valles Caldera and Redondo Peak Pano Prior to Las Conchas Fire