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The Geology of Western National Parks: Valles Caldera, New Mexico

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, May 1, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV030
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Forested volcanic caldera in the Jemez mountains, Valles Caldera National Park

Join geologist Kirt Kempter as he explores the geology of Western National Parks over the course of 2023, with an in-depth look at one location every month. Each program’s content is enhanced by geologic maps, photos, and Google Earth imagery.

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Valles Caldera, New Mexico

For many geologists, the Valles Caldera National Preserve represents the crown jewel of New Mexico geology. With a spectacular 13-mile diameter crater (caldera) from an eruption approximately 1.25 million years ago, the park also hosts large herds of elk, a healthy population of black bear, and forested volcanic domes of spruce, fir, and ponderosa pine. The preserve’s resurgent caldera is recognized as the world’s type example, which fostered the recognition and interpretation of supervolcanoes worldwide, including Yellowstone.

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