Mescalero Escarpment

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Mescalero Escarpment
(Mescalero Ridge)
Mescalero Escarpment 2003.jpg
Escarpment between Caprock and Maljamar
Highest point
Elevation 4,462 ft (1,360 m) [1]
Prominence 200 ft (61 m)
Coordinates 33°02′35″N 103°51′13″W / 33.04306°N 103.85361°W / 33.04306; -103.85361Coordinates: 33°02′35″N 103°51′13″W / 33.04306°N 103.85361°W / 33.04306; -103.85361[1]
Mescalero Escarpment is located in New Mexico
Mescalero Escarpment
Mescalero Escarpment
Location in Eastern New Mexico
Age of rock Quaternary
Mountain type Caliche

The Mescalero Escarpment or Mescalero Ridge forms the western edge of the great Llano Estacado, a vast plateau or tableland in the southwestern United States in New Mexico and Texas.[2][3] It is the western equivalent of the Caprock Escarpment, which defines the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado.

Mescalero Sands[edit]

Extending north-south along the western edge of the Mescalero Escarpment lies a vast sand sheet called the Mescalero Sands, named after the Mescalero Apaches who once hunted in these sandhills.[4][5] In 1928, Nelson Horatio Darton of the United States Geological Survey observed: “On the east side of the Pecos Valley in southern New Mexico there are very extensive sand hills formed of deposits known as the ‘Mescalero Sands,’ which are doubtless of Quaternary age ...” [6] In places, these sands climb up and over the Mescalero Escarpment and spread out over portions of the Llano Estacado.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mescalero Ridge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ Price, A.P. 1977. Mescalero Sandhills of Cochran and Yoakum Counties, Texas. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, 253 pp.
  3. ^ Henderson, D. 2006. An Introduction to the Mescalero Sands Ecosystem. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University, 42 pp.
  4. ^ Julyan, R. 1996. The Place Names of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
  5. ^ Hall, S.A. 2002. Field Guide to the Geoarchaeology of the Mescalero Sands, Southeastern New Mexico. State of New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, Project No. 35-00-15334.11, 59 pp.
  6. ^ Darton, N.H. 1928. "Red Beds" and associated formations in New Mexico, with an outline of the geology of the state. United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 794, 356 pp. (Mescalero sands described on p. 59)

External links[edit]