Road Log Day 1 Geology of the Raton-Clayton Area: First-day Road Log from Clayton To Johnson Mesa via Capulin National Monument
— Matthew J. Zimmerer, Frank C. Ramos, and Kate E. Zeigler


Day 1 of the 2019 NMGS Fall Field Conference will large-ly focus on the volcanic history of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field, with emphasis on the youngest series of eruptions cen-tered near Capulin Volcano National Monument. The route be-gins in Clayton and traverses west on US–64 before departing north at the town of Capulin for Capulin Volcano. Days 2 and 3 share a similar initial route westward from Clay-ton, with Day 2 departing US–64 at Des Moines for the Dry Ci-marron valley and Day 3 continuing west past Capulin toward Raton. Thus, the road log for Day 2 begins in Des Moines and the road log for Day 3 begins in Capulin. The first stop of Day 1 is at Capulin Volcano National Monument, where we will spend most of the morning. We will shuttle the entire FFC to the rim of Capulin Volcano where the panoramic views provide an ex-cellent setting for a brief overview of the Raton-Clayton volca-nic field. After the introduction, conference participants can get their hearts pumping by circumnavigating the crater rim along a paved path exploring products of the Capulin eruption and tak-ing in the numerous, seemingly endless vistas of volcanic peaks and mesas of the volcanic field. After the circumnavigation, the conference will regroup at the monument’s picnic area at the base of the cinder cone for lunch. Field trippers have the choice to either take a short hike during lunch to explore more features of young cinder cones and lava flows or enjoy the monument’s visitor center and gift shop. Stop 2 is a very short drive north to the Mud Hill tuff cone, where we will examine phreatomagmat-ic deposits produced when magma violently mixes with water. Stop 3 is yet another short drive north to Baby Capulin, the third youngest eruption in the volcanic field. Here, we are allowed to collect volcanic bombs, explore cinder pits, and search for xenocrysts and/or xenoliths. Stop 4 is the last stop of the day located on top of the remote and rugged Johnson Mesa where we will continue our discussion of volcanism in northeastern New Mexico and introduce the impact that the elevated terrain has on the isotopic signature of groundwater in the region. Following Stop 4, the trip will retrace the route back to Folsom for the BBQ at the Folsom Museum.

Note: Full-text Fall Field Conference road logs for recent guidebooks are only available in print.

Recommended Citation:

  1. Zimmerer, Matthew J.; Ramos, Frank C.; Zeigler, Kate E., 2019, Road Log Day 1 Geology of the Raton-Clayton Area: First-day Road Log from Clayton To Johnson Mesa via Capulin National Monument, in: Geology of the Raton-Clayton Area, Ramos, Frank; Zimmerer, Matthew J.; Zeigler, Kate; Ulmer-Scholle, Dana, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 70th Field Conference, pp. 1-20.

[see guidebook]