Capulin Mountain, New Mexico

Location: 36.4N, 104.1W
Elevation: 8,182 feet (2,494 m)

Vertical aerial photograph of Capulin Mountain. Photograph courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

Capulin Mountain is a large cinder cone in the Raton-Clayton volcanic field in northeastern New Mexico. The Raton-Clayton volcanic field is related to the extensional tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift.


View of Capulin Mountain. Photograph by Pranoti Asher, July 1989.


View of Capulin Mountain from the south. Photograph by Dick Van Effen, September 1985.

Capulin Mountain National Monument includes the cinder cone and the surrounding 775 acres (314 ha). The cone is about 1,000 feet (300 m) tall.


The crater of Capulin. Note the trail in the middle of the photo. Photograph by Pranoti Asher, July 1989.


View of the summit crater (foreground) of Capulin Mountain. View is from the high point on the crater rim and looks to the west. Photograph by Dick Van Effen, September 1985.

The crater at the summit of the cone is 125 m deep. Argon-argon dating has put Capulin at 56,000 to 62,000 years ago and it is one of the youngest feature in the Raton-Clayton volcanic field.


View of Sierra Grande. View is from the crater rim and looks to the southeast. Photograph by Dick Van Effen, September 1985.

Sierra Grande is a shield volcano made of andesite lava flows. The shield rises near 2,000 feet (610 m) above the adjacent plain and is about 7 miles (11.3 km) across.


View to the west-northwest of Capulin Mountain. Robinson Mountain (middle right) is a vent that developed on an older mesa made of basalt. Photograph by Dick Van Effen, September 1985.


Sources of Information:

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.

Stormer, J.C., 1987, Capulin Mountain volcano and the Raton-Clayton volcanic field, northeastern New Mexico, in Beus, S.S., ed., Centennial Field Guide Volume 2 Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America, p. 421-424.

Wood, C.A., and Kienle, J., 1993, Volcanoes of North America: Cambridge University Press, New York, 354 p.



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