Ubehebe Crater
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Stop 10 Ubehebe Crater
March 10, 2007

This feature was formed by the volcanism.  The crater was not blown up by large amounts of magma coming up through the ground but by magma reaching an underground pocket of water, flash frying the water and the resulting steam blasted the rocks out of the ground forming this crater.


Diagram of the formation of Ubehebe Crater


The crater has since been eroded by many thousands of years of water, evidenced by the large rills running down the sides of the valley. The dark debris at the base of the crater is a remanent of the volcanic cinders that were expelled from the crater when it was created.


A picture of Ubehebe crater looking to the northeast. The alternative orange and white in the crater walls show the
cross bedding that was seen in the creation of the sandstone that was blown away by the steam.


There are at least a dozen smaller craters surrounding Ubehebe. 
One of these craters Little Hebe is just a short walk from the main crater.



By Jake McDonald