White Tank Mountains

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White Tank Mountains
07 white tank mountain.jpg
Petroglyphs in the White Tank Mountains
Elevation 4,083 ft (1,244 m)
Location Arizona, United States
Coordinates 33°34′31″N 112°34′44″W / 33.57528°N 112.57889°W / 33.57528; -112.57889
Topo map USGS White Tank Mountains (AZ)
Type Metamorphic
Age of rock 35 Ma

The White Tank Mountains is a mountain range located in central Arizona. The mountains are on the western periphery of the Phoenix metropolitan area, primarily flanked by the suburban cities of Buckeye to the south and west, and Surprise to the north and east. The mountain range is home to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park and is a regional recreation hub.

The range, often referred to simply as the White Tanks, is a moderate sized mountain range whose peaks rise to an elevation of around 4,000 feet (1,219 m).[1] The range consists of a series of numerous ridges and canyons and as such lacks a single, prominent peak. The highest point in the range, at an altitude of 4,083 feet (1,244 m), is Barry Goldwater Peak.[2]

The mountain range was formed through tectonic activities as part of a detachment fault sometime in the mid Tertiary period, about 30 million years ago.[1] As a fairly young (in geologic terms) mountain range it has not been subject to the forces of erosion for long and retains an extremely rugged topography composed of rocky fault ridges and deep canyons. During seasonal heavy rainfall, accumulated water tends to rush rapidly through the steep canyons, over time scouring out a number of depressions or "tanks" in the white granite near the base of the mountains. These white "tanks" are the source of the mountains' name.[3]