Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 749 pixels 540 x 404 pixels 540 x 405 pixels 3032 x 2064 pixels 639 x 435 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:

Spacecraft nadir point: 22.2° N, 101.3° W

Photo center point: 20.3° N, 100.9° W

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 183 nautical miles (339km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 749 pixels No Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 404 pixels Yes Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 405 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
3032 pixels 2064 pixels No No Download Image
639 pixels 435 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: Cerro Culiacan, Guanajuato, Mexico

This astronaut photograph highlights Cerro (Spanish for "hill") Culiacan, part of the 50,000 km2 Michoacan-Guanajuato volcanic field of west-central Mexico. The volcanic field contains over 1400 known vents, with cinder cones being the dominant landform. Cerro Culiacan however, is a shield volcano formed by basaltic lavas; it most likely formed during the Pleistocene Epoch approximately 10,000 to 2 million years ago. Shield volcanoes in the Michoacan-Guanajuato field tend to have steeper slopes than similar volcanic structures elsewhere (namely Iceland; this is perhaps due to slightly higher-viscosity lavas), and the 1100-meter high Cerro Culiacan is no exception.

The permeable, highly fractured basalt of Culiacan is an important component of the local hydrology. Precipitation that falls on the slopes of the hill swiftly infiltrates down into sediments of the valley floor, providing sufficient moisture to support agriculture (green and brown fields at image center) and, in turn, several small cities such as Jaral del Progreso and El Capulin de la Trinidad (light gray regions with street grids). Precipitation has also incised the slopes of Cerro Culiacan with a radial drainage pattern, extending outwards from the peak in all directions much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel.