Carrizozo

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 33.78°N
  • 105.93°W

  • 1731 m
    5678 ft

  • 327110
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Carrizozo.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Carrizozo.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Carrizozo.

Eruptive History


Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
3250 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed   Surface Exposure Little Black Peak

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Photo Gallery


Fractures cut the surface of a roughly 5000-year-old ropy pahoehoe lava flow in south-central New Mexico. Lava flow textures such as these are formed when molten lava continues to flow underneath the cooled plastic skin, causing the surface to bunch up or wrinkle into a form that resembles coiled rope. Highway 380 cuts across the northern part of the Carrizozo lava flow, providing access to the flow.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Slabs of basaltic pahoehoe lava are tilted along a pressure ridge of the Carrizozo lava flow in New Mexico. This massive tube-fed pahoehoe flow displays abundant evidence of inflation features such as tumuli, pressure ridges, and lava pits. Tumuli form when brittle crust buckles to accommodate the inflating core of the flow, thus creating a central crack along the length of the tumulus. These structures sometimes grade into elongated features called pressure ridges.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The sparsely vegetated lava flow filling a broad valley is the Carrizozo lava flow, which was erupted from a low shield volcano topped by the Little Black Peak cinder cone. The massive lava flow, which was dated at about 5200 years Before Present, traveled 75 km down the Tularosa Basin in south-central New Mexico. The extremely lengthy travel distance of the flow (one of the longest on Earth during Holocene time) was facilitated by movement within lava tubes, which thermally insulated the flow.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The dark-colored lava flow extending across the center of the photo is a lobe of the Carrizozo flow. This view looks SE from the Valley of Fires recreation area administered by the Bureau of Land Management to the Sierra Blanca in the distance. The recreation area lies on one of several kipukas of older rocks surrounded by the Carrizozo flow, which covers an area of about 330 sq km.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The small dark hill in the middle distance right of center is Little Black Peak, a cinder cone topping a broad low shield volcano that was the source of the massive Carrizozo lava flow, which forms the dark streak extending across the photo. Most of the ~4.2 cu km pahoehoe flow extended off the photo to the right down the low-angle gradient of the Tularosa Basin to the SE for a distance of 75 km.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The Carrizozo lava flow surrounds the southern end of a kipuka providing a campground site in the Valley of Fires Recreation Area. This massive tube-fed pahoehoe lava flow, with a volume of about 4.3 cubic km, traveled 75 km down the extremely low-angle floor of the Tularosa Basin, with slopes of less than half a degree. The flow was inferred to have been emplaced during low-effusion-rate, long-duration eruption lasting 2-3 decades.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


The following 1 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 117124 Basalt

Affiliated Sites