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New Mexico Geologic Map

Geologic Maps of the 50 United States


New Mexico extends over several different geologic provinces, ensuring it a great variety of rocks. (more below)
New Mexico's rocks

Image courtesy NM Bureau Mines & Mineral Resources

New Mexico is a large state with a wide variety of geologic and tectonic features, fairly easy to read from this map if you know the traditional map colors and a bit of regional geology. The Mesozoic rocks in the northwest (green) mark the Colorado Plateau, topped by some younger strata indicated with orange. Yellow and cream areas on the east are young sediments washed off the Southern Rockies.

Similar young sedimentary rocks fill the Rio Grande Rift, a failed spreading center or aulacogen. This narrow would-be ocean basin runs up the left-center of the state with the Rio Grande flowing down its middle, exposing the Paleozoic (blues) and Precambrian (dark brown) rocks on its uplifted flanks. The reds and tan indicate younger volcanic rocks associated with the rifting.

The large swath of light blue-violet marks where the great Permian Basin of Texas continues into the state. Younger sediments of the Great Plains cover the whole eastern edge. And a bit of basin-and-range terrain appears in the extreme southwest, wide dry basins choked with coarse sediments eroded from the blocks of uplifted older rocks.

A slightly larger version of this map (850x640 pixels) has everything labeled, along with major towns. The state geologic bureau publishes a giant state geologic map and also has virtual tours for deeper detail about New Mexico.

More about New Mexico Geology

More New Nexico resources on About.com:
New Mexico Maps
New Mexico Geography, State Symbols & Facts
New Mexico Travel
New Mexico National Parks
New Mexico State Parks
New Mexico Campgrounds
New Mexico Bed & Breakfasts
New Mexico Hunting
New Mexico Pueblos
New Mexico Scenic Roads
New Mexico Skiing
New Mexico Archaeology

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