Field exercises in the Pinacate volcanic field, Mexico: An analog for planetary volcanism
Published:December 01, 2011
David A. Williams, Sarah A. Fagents, Ronald Greeley, John F. McHone, 2011. "Field exercises in the Pinacate volcanic field, Mexico: An analog for planetary volcanism", Analogs for Planetary Exploration, W. Brent Garry, Jacob E. Bleacher
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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.