New Mexico's White Sands National Monument
A fun thing to do while visiting the Alamogordo area is to visit White Sands National Monument. The following pics are from White Sands. The dunes are wind-blown deposits of gypsum originating from an ancient Permian Period Sea that occurred sometime during the late Paleozoic era 225 to 280 million years ago. Over time, mountains rose carrying the gypsum with them. Rain and glacier melt dissolved the gypsum and transported it back down to the Tularosa Basin.
As for sand, wind and sun de-water and break down the gypsum into selenite crystals. Wind and water continue to break down the crystals into sand. Finally, southwest winds keep the dunes moving.
A rarity in this region is snow, which we actually had the night prior. Regretfully, it melted before we got to the dunes. According to locals, the dunes are actually a light brown color when compared to fresh snow. Nonetheless, it was nice and bright out.
Thanks for viewing.