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Probing the Jemez: Revived symposium features Valles Caldera studies

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By Roger Snodgrass

SANTA FE – After a four-year hiatus, the lightning round known as the Jemez Mountains Science Symposium returned Friday in a brain-pounding, mind-nourishing flash.Over the course of eight hours, the schedule called for 36 10-minute technical reports on aspects of geology, hydrology, ecology, biology, air and water quality, climate change, fire-history, controlled burns and land management.Fraser Goff, a retired earth scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, led off the encapsulated presentations with a preview of a revised geologic map of the Valles Caldera that he and many others have been working on since 2000.“The plan is eventually to have a new map of the Jemez Mountains,” he said.Displayed in a bright color-coded scheme in shaded relief, the map tells the geological saga of the central volcanic field of the Jemez Mountains with an emphasis on the last 1.25 million years. Many new details of pre- and post-Caldera features, including uplifts, lava flows and lake deposits are now visible.Goff matched and unified nine individually mapped quadrangles of the Valles Caldera, now rendered at a more highly resolved scale of 1:24,000, in order to pull the picture together.The map is still in preparation with a number of decisions yet to be made.


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