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Warford Ranch volcano, Arizona, field exercise

By
Ronald Greeley
Ronald Greeley
School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Box 871404, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404, USA
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Shelby Cave
Shelby Cave
School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Box 871404, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404, USA
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Published:
December 01, 2011

Warford Ranch is a small “drive-in” shield volcano covering an area of ~2 by 3 km west of Phoenix, and it is accessible from Interstate Highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona. The basaltic shield is superposed on silicic lavas, granodiorites, and alluvial deposits and is part of the Sentinel-Arlington volcanic field. Dated at 3.19 Ma, the shield volcano is sufficiently young to preserve the original morphology, but it also shows the effects of moderate weathering, development of desert varnish, and the formation of caliche deposits. Imaged in both color near-infrared (IR) and in thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS) data, these various units afford the opportunity to conduct simple remote-sensing mapping, which can then be field tested. In addition to the lava flows comprising the shield, pyroclastic deposits and dikes are also present. The compact size of the volcano enables the entire feature to be examined in the field in one day. With short introductory discussion, participants of nearly any background can be introduced to the fundamentals of remote sensing, igneous rocks, field methods, and evaluation of the volcanic history of a small volcano.

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GSA Special Papers

Analogs for Planetary Exploration

W. Brent Garry
W. Brent Garry
Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Jacob E. Bleacher
Jacob E. Bleacher
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Planetary Geodynamics Lab, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
483
ISBN print:
9780813724836
Publication date:
December 01, 2011

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