By May 30, 2012, a wildfire burning in Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico had burned more of the landscape than any other fire in the state’s history. (via Fire in New Mexico : Natural Hazards)
Rio Grande Gorge, NM
The Rio Grande Rift is not just the canyon, or gorge, that holds the river, but an area of more than 160,000 square miles reaching from central Colorado almost to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Taos Plateau is part of this ‘rift system’ and lies in the San Luis Basin, which is nearly a hundred miles long and about forty-seven miles wide. The San Luis Basin is one of four major basins created by the faulting and volcanic energy. Some scientists believe that several million years from now the Rio Grande Rift may become an ocean. If that should happen, Taos County residents will have both mountain and ocean views!
Read more: http://www.discovernewmexico.com/articles/rio_grande_gorge_geology/index.htm
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Cave dissolution—The creation of Carlsbad Cavern.
There are more than 110 known caves within the park alone—they are some of the biggest and longest caves in the world. All of them reveal a very unusual ingredient in cave dissolution (creation)—sulfuric acid.
Evidence shows that when hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from oil deposits in the area and a whole range of newly discovered microbes combine with oxygen in the underground water table, sulfuric acid is the result. This very aggressive dissolution of passageways occurred at the level of the water table along cracks, fractures and faults in the limestone.