Valles Caldera

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 35.87°N
  • 106.57°W

  • 3430 m
    11250 ft

  • 327817
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Valles Caldera.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Valles Caldera.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Valles Caldera.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Valles Caldera. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Valles Caldera page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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

Thick deposits of welded pumice form cliffs along the Jemez River valley SW of the Valles caldera, capping darker-red, bedded sedimentary rocks at the base of the canyon. The lowermost pyroclastic-flow deposit, showing pronounced columnar jointing, is the Otowi member of the Bandelier Tuff. The top of the section is the Tshirege member of the Bandelier Tuff. The two eruptions, about 1.45 and 1.1 million years ago, ejected about 600 cu km of magma and resulted in the formation of Valles caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1989 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Soda Dam, along the Jemez River, is a travertine dam formed across a gorge in Precambrian granite-gneiss SW of the rim of Valles caldera. The travertine has been deposited over the past 5000 years by carbonated thermal waters discharged along the Jemez fault zone. About 15 hot springs related to the Valles caldera thermal system are found at this location.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1989 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Redondo Peak in the center and Redondito peak on the right are the eastern half of a resurgent dome in the center of the Valles caldera, seen from the SE across the caldera moat, Valle Grande. The uplifted resurgent dome is formed primarily of densely welded Bandelier Tuff that was uplifted about 50-100,000 years after formation of the caldera. Cerro La Jara, the small hill on the caldera floor at the middle left, is a small rhyolitic lava dome erupted along ring-fractures.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1989 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The 22-km-wide Valles caldera in northern New Mexico was formed during a series of major eruptions ending with the eruption of the Bandelier Tuff about 1 million years ago. Post-caldera uplift formed a large resurgent dome in the center of the caldera. The latest eruptions occurred about 130,000 years ago, but geothermal activity continues. This view from the caldera moat shows the rim of the 1.45 million-year-old Toledo embayment to the north, with the edge of the Cerro del Medio rhyolitic lava dome at the extreme left.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1989 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Volcanologists Bob Smith (left) and Roy Bailey (right) lead a geological field trip to Valles caldera. Redondo Peak at the upper right rises to 3430 m, 840 m above the caldera floor, and along with Redondo Border peak at the center, forms the western half of the uplifted resurgent dome seen at the center of the geologic map. The down-dropped Redondo Creek graben, which cuts diagonally through the center of the photo, has been the focus of geothermal exploration in the caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1989 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 153 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 117226-616 Rhyolite
NMNH 117226-631 Tuff
NMNH 117226-632 Tuff
NMNH 117226-633 Tuff
NMNH 117226-634 Tuff
NMNH 117226-635 Tuff
NMNH 117226-647 Quartzite
NMNH 117226-648 Breccia
NMNH 117226-682 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117226-684 "Welded tuff with andesite, sandstone, and others"
NMNH 117226-699 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117227-137 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-158 Basalt
NMNH 117227-176 Tuff
NMNH 117227-177 Tuff
NMNH 117227-179 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-180 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-181 Tuff
NMNH 117227-182 Pumice
NMNH 117227-183 Tuff
NMNH 117227-184 Tuff
NMNH 117227-185 Tuff
NMNH 117227-186 Tuff
NMNH 117227-187 Rhyolite
NMNH 117227-190 Tuff
NMNH 117227-191 Tuff
NMNH 117227-193 Vitrophyre
NMNH 117227-194 Pumice
NMNH 117227-196 Tuff
NMNH 117227-197 Tuff
NMNH 117227-198 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117227-199 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117227-200 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-212 Tuff
NMNH 117227-213 Tuff
NMNH 117227-214 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-215 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-216 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-217 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-218 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-224 Tuff
NMNH 117227-226 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117227-250 Scapolite
NMNH 117227-251 Tuff
NMNH 117227-252 Tuff
NMNH 117227-253 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-254 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-255 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-256 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-257 Tuff
NMNH 117227-258 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-259 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-260 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-261 Tuff
NMNH 117227-262 Tuff
NMNH 117227-263 Tuff
NMNH 117227-264 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117227-265 Anorthoclase
NMNH 117227-266 Pumice
NMNH 117227-267 Pumice
NMNH 117227-268 Pumice
NMNH 117227-269 Pumice
NMNH 117227-270 Tuff
NMNH 117227-271 Pumice
NMNH 117227-272 Tuff
NMNH 117227-273 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-274 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-275 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-276 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-277 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-278 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-279 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-280 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-281 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-282 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-283 Tuff
NMNH 117227-284 Tuff
NMNH 117227-285 Tuff
NMNH 117227-286 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-287 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-288 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-289 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-290 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-291 Tuff
NMNH 117227-292 Pumice
NMNH 117227-294 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-295 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-296 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-297 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-298 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-299 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-300 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-301 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-302 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-303 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-304 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-305 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-306 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-307 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-308 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-309 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-310 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-311 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-312 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-313 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-314 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-315 Pumice
NMNH 117227-316 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-317 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-318 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-319 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-320 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-321 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-322 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-323 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-324 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-325 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-326 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-327 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-328 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-329 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-330 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-331 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-332 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-333 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-334 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-335 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-336 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-337 Welded tuff
NMNH 117227-338 Welded tuff
NMNH 117228-36 Pumice
NMNH 117229-6 Sinter
NMNH 117229-7 Volcanic with basalt and dacite
NMNH 117230-284 Rhyolite tuff
NMNH 117230-299 Concretion
NMNH 117230-300 Concretion
NMNH 117231-140 Basaltic andesite
NMNH 117231-142 Pumice
NMNH 117231-145 Pumice
NMNH 117464-10 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-11 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-12 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-13 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-15 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-16 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-17 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-18 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-19 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-20 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-21 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-22 Obsidian
NMNH 117464-23 Obsidian
NMNH 117551-63 Obsidian

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