Pinacate Volcano Field, Mexico
The pockmarked terrain of Pinacate National Park in Mexico’s state of Sonora is evidence of a violent past. Among hundreds of volcanic vents and cinder cones are rare maar craters, formed when rising magma met underground water to create pockets of steam that blew nearly circular holes in the overlying crust. At the bottom of this 2002 Landsat 7 image are sand dunes of the Gran Desierto de Altar in the Sonoran Desert, including the only active erg dune region in North America. During the 1960s, NASA sent astronauts to the Pinacate area to train for lunar expeditions.