Shiprock, New Mexico- Radial Dikes                     
Cochise College                                                                                        
Geology Home Page 
Geology Exploration Using Google Earth
Volcanoes and Igneous Rocks
  
Roger Weller, geology instructor 
(
wellerr@cochise.edu)
last edited:  4/3/12             8 views

     Shiprock in the Northwest corner of New Mexico represents the
remains of a highly eroded volcano.  The central peak is a volcanic
neck that was once the main conduit of lava up to the surface. 
Surrounding the volcanic are impressive radial dikes that were at
one time radial fractures in the volcano that were filled at a later
time by a more erosion resistant magma.  Extensive erosion
removed all traces of the earlier volcano except for the volcanic
neck and impressive radial dikes.  The feature is so striking and
unusual that it inspired the topography used in the movie,
"John Carter on Mars".

base map, showing the location of Shiprock




Zooming in closer, Shiprock is located between the Four Corners
area (where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado. and Utah meet) and
Farmington, New Mexico.




In this view three dikes radiate outwards from Shiprock.  Two of the dikes
are very prominent and the third is narrower.




an oblique view of the three major radial dikes



 a view showing that one of the dikes is curved



a very impressive close view of a dike and the volcanic neck


 

     Two dikes are shown in this close view.  By using the tool from
Google Earth that allows you to tip the scene at an angle,  you can
get the same visual effect as flying over the feature.  (Also, there is
no chance chance of your airplane crashing.)




    
This view from Google Earth is much better than the the photograph
I took from a small plane flying over Shiprock. 

Click here to see my photos:  Here




Just credit photos to Google Earth/R.Weller/Cochise College.
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