Petroglyph National Mounument, New Mexico

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Petroglyph National Monument is a small monument on the western outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The monument preserves a narrow strip along the flanks of this basaltic lava flow.
Left and below: This row of cinder and spatter cones is a well known skyline feature in Albuquerque. The  cones erupted from a fissure a few hundred years ago. The lava flows emanated from the same fissure.
View of Sandia Peak from the west. The intervening valley is part of the Rio Grande Rift. The face of Sandia Peak is part of the eastern bounding fault, and the fissure that generated the lava flows here is part of the western fault system.

Because of the topography, Albuquerque is one of the few cities with no skyline as you approach it. The city is down in the Rio Grande valley, while all the major approaches are in the uplands.

The petroglyphs include human, animal, and geometric figures as well as the usual array of glyphs of unknown meaning.
A solution weathering pit on a level basalt surface.
One of the most interesting petroglyphs is this parrot. Although parrots did range across the border into New Mexico and Arizona (and on rare occasions still do) this one was probably acquired or at least seen as a result of trade with Mexico.

Unless, of course, he's pining for the fiords...

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Created 22 June 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020