Red Hill Volcanic Field

Location: 33° 50' to 34° 39' N , 108° 25' to 108° 00' W, Catron County
Type: Cluster of monogenetic scoria cones, maars, and associated lava flows.
Age: 0.9 Ma to 0.023 Ma

Several youthful maars and significant neotechtonic structures; Zuni Salt lake maar is a classic youthful hydromagmatic crater


Mostly alkali basalts and intermediate compositions

Geological Overview

Information about the Red Hill field is sparse, but existing geologic mapping and age determinations show that the area has been active over times significant enough for inversion of topography to occur. As a result, areas of younger volcanism are surrounded by basalt capped mesas on both sides of Highway 60 about 24 miles east of the border with Arizona and Springerville field. 


Red Hill volcanic field and Zuni Salt Lake maar. Photo L. Crumpler


Red Hill cone and flow. Photo L. Crumpler





Red Hill cone. Photo L. Crumpler


Pictures From Zuni Salt Lake Maar:


Zuni Salt Lake. Photo L. Crumpler



Phreatic tuffs on the western rim of Zuni Salt Lake Maar. Insets, bomb sags. Example on right is from Zuni Salt Lake maar. Example on left is from Mars! Photo L. Crumpler


Zuni Salt Lake panaramic. Photo L. Cumpler



View Red Hill Volcanic in a larger map



Chamberlin, R.M.,  Steven M. Cather, Orin J. Anderson,  and  Glen E. Jones, 1994. RECONNAISSANCE  GEOLOGIC  MAP OF THE QUEMADO 30 x 60 MINUTE  QUADRANGLE, CATRON  COUNTY, NEW MEXICO. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Open-file Report 406.

Bradbury, J. P., 1966, Pleistocene-Recent geologic history of Zuni Salt lake, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society 17th Field Conference Guidebook, Taos-Raton-Spanish Peaks Country, New Mexico and Colorado, p. 119.

Crumpler, L. S., and J. C. Aubele, 1990, Red Hill volcanic field, New Mexico; in Wood, C. A., and Kienle, J. (eds), Volcanoes of North America: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 307-308.

Cummings, D., 1968, Geologic map of the Zuni Salt Lake volcanic crater, Catron County, New Mexico: U. S. Geological Surevy, Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Map I-544, scale 1:6,000.

Darton, N. H., 1906, The Zuni salt lake: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 16, p. 564.

Hoffer, J. M., and Corbitt, L. L., 1989, A preliminary note on some unusual explosion-collapse craters, Quemado basalt field, Catron County, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, 40th Field Conference Guidebook, p. 157-158. 

Horning, R. R., Dunbar, N.W., Kyle, P. R., and Baldridge, W. S., 1996, Evolution of igneous veins intruding basanite at El Porticito, Quemado, NM: New Mexico Geology, v.18, p. 53.

McIntosh, W. C., 1994, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of late Miocene to Pleistocene basalts of the Zuni Bandera, Red Hill-Quemado and Potrillo Volcanic Fields: New Mexico Geology, v. 16, p. 6061.

McIntosh, W. C., and Cather, S. M., 1994, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of basaltic rocks and constraints on Late Cenozoic stratigraphy and landscape development in the Red Hill-Quemado area, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society 45th Field Conference Guidebook, p. 209-224.


All text and photo credit due to Dr. Larry Crumpler, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

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