White Sands I


Situated within New Mexico’s south-central Tularosa Basin are 270 square miles of White Sands’ dunes comprising the world’s largest surface deposit of gypsum. Beginning 100 miles south of Albuquerque and continuing 100 miles further south to El Paso, this basin lies within the Rio Grande Rift zone and the Chihuahuan Desert.

Unlike typical quartz sand, gypsum sands’ high rate of surface moisture evaporation reflects rather than absorbs the sun’s rays, making the grains cool to the touch, while taking on the hues of first and last light.

Two hundred and fifty million years ago, enormous upheavals in the Rio Grande Rift formed mountain ranges on both the east and west edges of the Tularosa Basin that uncovered these gypsum deposits, which over time leached into the basin.

In the dunes foreground, sparse golden grasses glow in contrast to the brilliant white dunes which in turn contrast against the formidable mountains both east and west.

White Sands Against San Andres Mountains<br>White Sands - 2011 Parabolic Dunes<br>White Sands - 2011 Parabolic Dunes II<br>White Sands - 2011 Long Shadows<br>White Sands - 2011

White Sands II