To discover geologic treasures in the Land of Enchantment, all that is required is a good map, a sense of adventure, and New Mexico Rocks, a guide to 60 of the state's most compelling geologic sites. More than any other state except Hawaii, New Mexico was shaped by volcanic eruptions, from supervolcano calderas to young basalt flows and cinder cones. Legends of New Mexico's fiery origins are surpassed only by magical twists on its many other geologic locales. Most dunes are composed of quartz sand, but New Mexico's White Sands are made from gypsum. Carlsbad is an exceptional limestone cavern that was dissolved with sulfuric acid, not the normal carbonic acid of rainwater. Prospectors looking for precious metals discovered silver ore coating the entire surface of a cave – named the Bridal Chamber by Lake Valley miners. Dinosaurs – including the Bisti Beast and Coelophysis, the state fossil – inhabited New Mexico, but the footprints at Prehistoric Trackways National Monument were left by Dimetrodon, which lived before the dinosaurs. With its charming photographs and informative figures and maps, this guide will get you up to speed on every aspect of New Mexico's bewitching geology.
Nathalie Brandes grew up studying geology with her father. She earned her BS and MS in geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) and continued graduate studies at Michigan Technological University. She worked at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources; taught various geology courses at Michigan Tech, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas; and currently is a Professor of Geosciences at a community college.
Paul Brandes earned a BS in geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and an MS in geology at Michigan Technological University. He has worked as a geology consultant, an environmental enforcement officer, an exploration geologist, and a professor of geology at a community college. He has contributed photographs to several textbooks and laboratory manuals in geology and is on the management team of mindat.org.