STS099-727-54
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Spacecraft nadir point: 36.0° N, 105.5° W

Photo center point: 36.5° N, 105.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: North

Spacecraft Altitude: 127 nautical miles (235km)
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Image Caption: Northern Rio Grande Rift
The Sangre de Cristo range of Colorado and New Mexico flanks the
southern San Luis valley, one of the broad valleys of the northern Rio
Grande rift. The Rio Grande, the sinuous dark line roughly parallel to
the mountain front, flows south- then southwestward (this view is to the
NE). The southwesterly reach of the river follows the Embudo transverse
fault zone, which separates the San Luis basin (north) from the Espanola
basin (south). Rift faults and the Embudo zone intersect in a complex
structural knot around Taos, in the embayment in the mountain range.
This excellent photo shows the subtle but distinct northeastward
extension of the Embudo zone to the mouth of Rio Pueblo canyon at the
range front. Buried faults of similar trend were located geophysically
by astronaut candidate crews who assisted in a ground-water assessment
of the Taos valley (summer, 1999).