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Field exercises in the Pinacate volcanic field, Mexico: An analog for planetary volcanism

By
David A. Williams
David A. Williams
1 School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Bateman Physical Sciences Building F686, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404, USA
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Sarah A. Fagents
Sarah A. Fagents
2 Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology/School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
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Ronald Greeley
Ronald Greeley
1 School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Bateman Physical Sciences Building F686, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404, USA
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John F. McHone
John F. McHone
1 School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Bateman Physical Sciences Building F686, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404, USA
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Published:
December 01, 2011

The Pinacate volcanic field is ~330 km SSW of Phoenix, and it is a popular destination for volcanology and planetary geology field trips. The volcanic field, located on the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in Sonora, Mexico, is a 1500 km2 basaltic field including a shield volcano, lava tubes, maars, a tuff cone, cinder cones, pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā lava flows as young as 12 ka, and phreatomagmatic constructs as young as 32 ka. We developed an image-based set of exercises for a 2 day field trip focusing on (1) Crater Elegante, a maar crater, (2) pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā flows near Tecolote Cone campground, (3) the complex eruptive history of Mayo (cinder) Cone, and (4) Cerro Colorado tuff cone. This paper discusses exercises to teach concepts in visible and radar image interpretation and planetary volcanology, and provides an overview of the field trip.

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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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