This 44-mile-wide scene from January 14th, 2021, exposes evidence of multiple geologic events. Highway 90 bisects the image, which cover parts of Presidio and Pecos Counties. Centered in the image lies the Marathon Basin, where folded mountains were deformed around 300 million years ago when South America Collided with North America. Eventually these mountains were buried by younger sediments, exposed in mountains that surround the basin. Erosion removed these younger rocks, re-exposing the older geologic features.
Fort Pena Colorado Park* was converted from the ruins of an old cavalry post garrisoned by Buffalo Soldiers of the Tenth Cavalry. Marathon, “where the Big Bend and the dark skies meet”, lies along highway 90 to the north and is home to the historic Gage Hotel. The Glass Mountains across the top of the scene are host to an exposure of largest fossil reef on the planet the Permian Reef.