Abstract

The flow direction technique, previously applied to ash-flow sheets, can be used to determine direction of movement and locate eruptive centers for lava flows. The method provides statistically stronger and more consistent flow direction data for lava than ash-flow tuff. The accuracy and reliability of the technique was established on the porphyritic basaltic andesite of Mount Taylor, New Mexico, which erupted from a known center, the Mount Taylor Amphitheater. The technique was then applied to volcanic units with unknown sources: the John Kerr Peak Quartz Latite and mid-Tertiary andesite flows in the Mogollon Mountains, both in southwestern New Mexico. The flow direction technique indicated flow patterns and suggested source areas for each rock unit. In the Mogollon Mountains flow direction measurements were supported by independent directional criteria such as dips of cross beds, stratigraphic thickening, facies changes, and megascopic textures.

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