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Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico, USA
New Mexico

All around the Jemez mountains, a layer of rock known as tuff erodes into fanciful cities of cones. The tuff formed from ash ejected from the Jemez volcano, which erupted explosively around 1 million years ago. Two eruptions threw 50+ cubic miles of rock into the air and belched great landslides of superheated ash down the sides of the volcano.


Towers of stone tend to form in the tuff when a harder cap rock protects the underlying layers from erosion. However, it is uncertain whether the conical shapes are due entirely to cap rock protection. It is also possible that erosion favored pre-existing vertical fractures or that the tuff was hardened by plumes of volcanic gases that passed up through the deposits from below.

The slot canyon of the national monument provides some of the best hands on experience for those curious about "tent rocks".

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Copyright: John Roberts
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 18908x9454
Uploaded: 06/03/2012
Updated: 10/06/2014
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Tags: slot canyon; canyon; desert; geology; natural wonder; public lands; outdoors; nature
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More About New Mexico

New Mexico is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, it has also been part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics at 45% (2008 estimate), being descendants of Spanish colonists and recent immigrants from Latin America. It also has the third-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska and Oklahoma, and the fifth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas. The tribes represented in the state consist of mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultural influences. At a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely inhabited U.S. state.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_mexico]