The Jemez Lineament (Raton hotspot trail) corresponds to a series of faults, 600 km long, from Springerville and White Mountains volcanic fields in East-Central Arizona to Raton-Clayton volcanic field in Northeastern New Mexico.
The Jemez Lineament (Raton hotspot trail) consists of the San Carlos volcanic field, Springerville volcanic field, Red Hill volcanic field, Zuni-Bandera volcanic field, Mount Taylor volcanic field, Jemez volcanic field and possibly the Ocate volcanic field, Raton-Clayton volcanic field, and Mesa de Maya. Lipman (1980) rules out a hotspot origin, as there is no systematic progression of age. This faulting probably reflects the combined effects of faster spreading in the Española Basin than the area North of the lineament (Abiquiu embayment and San Luis Basin), the right step in the Rio Grande rift zone that juxtaposes the San Luis Basin (Taos Plateau) against the Picuris Mountains, and counterclockwise rotation of various crustal blocks within the rift zone.
The Basin and Range Province is a vast physiographic region covering much of the inland Western United States and northwestern Mexico. It is defined by unique basin and range topography, characterized by abrupt changes in elevation, alternating between narrow faulted mountain chains and flat arid valleys or basins. The physiography of the province is the result of tectonic extension that began around 17 million years ago in the early Miocene epoch.
The numerous ranges within the province in the United States are collectively referred to as the "Great Basin Ranges", although many are not actually in the Great Basin. Major ranges include the Snake Range, the Panamint Range, the White Mountains, the Sandia Mountains, and the Tetons. The highest point fully within the province is White Mountain Peak in California, while the lowest point is the Badwater Basin in Death Valley at −282 feet (−86 m). The province's climate is arid, with numerous ecoregions. Most North American deserts are located within it.
Clarence Dutton famously compared the many narrow parallel mountain ranges that distinguish the unique topography of the Basin and Range to an "army of caterpillars marching toward Mexico." The Basin and Range Province should not be confused with The Great Basin, which is a sub-section of the greater Basin and Range physiographic region defined by its unique hydrological characteristics (internal drainage).Caja del Rio
Caja del Rio (Spanish: "box of the river") is a dissected plateau, of volcanic origin, which covers approximately 84,000 acres of land in northern Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States. The region is also known as the Caja, Caja del Rio Plateau, and Cerros del Rio. The center of the area is approximately 15 miles (23 km) west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most of the Caja is owned by the United States Forest Service and managed by the Santa Fe National Forest. Access is through New Mexico Highway 599, Santa Fe County Road 62, and Forest Service Road 24.Cima volcanic field
Cima volcanic field is a volcanic field in San Bernardino County, California, close to the border with Nevada. The volcanic field covers a surface area of 600 square kilometres (230 sq mi) within the Mojave National Preserve west of the Cima Dome and consists of about 40 volcanic cones with about 60 lava flows. The volcanic cones range from simple cones over multi-cratered mountains to eroded hills, and lava flows are up to 9.1 kilometres (5.7 mi) long. At least one lava tube exists in the field and can be visited.
Volcanic activity in the field commenced in the Late Miocene and after a pause between 3 and 1 million years ago continued into the latest Pleistocene. The youngest cone is known as the Black Tank cone and formed about 15,000 years before present, although it is possible that it was formed through two separate eruption events; formerly it was considered to be of historical age.El Malpais National Monument
El Malpais National Monument is a National Monument located in western New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States. The name El Malpais is from the Spanish term Malpaís, meaning badlands, due to the extremely barren and dramatic volcanic field that covers much of the park's area.
It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways.North American Plate
The North American Plate is a tectonic plate covering most of North America, Greenland, Cuba, the Bahamas, extreme northeastern Asia, and parts of Iceland and the Azores. With an area of 76,000,000 km2 (29,000,000 sq mi), it is the Earth's second largest tectonic plate, behind the Pacific Plate (which borders the plate to the west).
It extends eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Chersky Range in eastern Siberia. The plate includes both continental and oceanic crust. The interior of the main continental landmass includes an extensive granitic core called a craton. Along most of the edges of this craton are fragments of crustal material called terranes, which are accreted to the craton by tectonic actions over a long span of time. It is thought that much of North America west of the Rocky Mountains is composed of such terranes.Rio Grande rift
The Rio Grande rift is a north-trending continental rift zone. It separates the Colorado Plateau in the west from the interior of the North American craton on the east. The rift extends from central Colorado in the north to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, in the south. The rift zone consists of four basins that have an average width of 50 kilometers. The rift can be observed on location at Rio Grande National Forest, White Sands National Monument, Santa Fe National Forest, and Cibola National Forest, among other locations.
The Rio Grande rift has been an important site for humans for a long time, because it provides a north–south route that follows a major river. The Rio Grande follows the course of the rift from southern Colorado to El Paso, where it turns southeast and flows toward the Gulf of Mexico. Important cities, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Española, Las Cruces, El Paso, and Ciudad Juárez, lie within the rift.Valles Caldera
Valles Caldera (or Jemez Caldera) is a 13.7-mile (22.0 km) wide inactive volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico. Hot springs, streams, fumaroles, natural gas seeps and volcanic domes dot the caldera floor landscape. The highest point in the caldera is Redondo Peak, an 11,253-foot (3,430 m) resurgent lava dome located entirely within the caldera. Also within the caldera are several grass valleys [Valle(s)] the largest of which is Valle Grande (locally VY-ay GRAHN-day), the only one accessible by a paved road. Much of the caldera is within the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a unit of the National Park System. In 1975, Valles Caldera was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.