A Geoscience Digital Image Library

TitleKilbourne Hole, New Mexico
DescriptionThis is a view of the east side of Kilbourne Hole from the parking area at the end of the access road. Kilbourne Hole is a type of volcanic feature called a maar. Maars are broad, shallow craters that in many ways look like meteor impact craters. (In fact, that was one of the incorrrect explanations for the origin of Kilbourne Hole.) Kilbourne hole formed by a violent, gaseous eruption about 80,000 years ago. The eruption blew much ashy debris into the air which settled to give layered deposits that the people are standing on. Only minor amounts of basaltic magma were erupted. The ashy deposits contain abundant xenoliths - samples from the earth's crust and mantle that were carried to the surface by the exploding magma. Some of the best xenolith samples are found on the debris covered slope that can be seen in upper right of the photo.
Geologic provincePotrillo Volcanic Field
LocationUSA ▹ New Mexico. Near El Paso, Texas. At end of dirt road near Kilbourne Hole, in Potrillo Volcanic Field, 35 miles NW of El Paso.
PhotographerDexter Perkins. 2003-02-16.
Key wordsKilbourne Hole, New Mexico, maar, xenolith
Tech details518 KB. Vista. Canon Powershot S40.
GeoDIL number2973