Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Samalayuca Desert, Mun. de Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico

This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 25' 23'' North , 106° 26' 36'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 31.4230555556, -106.443611111
Name(s) in local language(s):Desierto de Samalayuca, Mun. de Villa Ahumada, Chihuahua, México

Samalayuca is a small town on the Juarez-Chihuahua highway roughly 50 km south of El Paso-Juarez. The town's main claim to fame is a huge thermoelectric generator plant, visible from a long distance. South and east of the town lie the Samalayuca Dune Fields (Medanos) that feature star and barchan dunes up to 50m high. The sand comes from Laguna Guzman (aka Barreal Guzman) that lies just to the west. A popular site for filming used for "Dune" and "Conan the Destroyer".

Just north of the town, and less than 100m off the highway are old playa lake deposits where distinctive spherical aggregates of bladed tan-colored gypsum crystals ("desert roses"), often heavily included with sand, have been found. Specimens range from single balls up to 6 cm in diameter to clusters of intergrown balls weighing many tens of kilograms. Specimens have been mined in large quantities for many years and are a staple of rock shop inventory. The roses are often toasted with a blow torch to dehydrate the edges of the bladed crystals. This both hides damage to the edges and gives them a white edge that contrasts with the overall tan color of the gypsum.

Mineral List

1 valid mineral.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Pike, Zebulon Montgomery, Edited by Elliott Coues (1895, edited and reprinted from the 1810 printing). The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike: Arkansaw Journey. Mexican Tour. New York, NY, pp. 648-652: Francis P. Harper.

External Links

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2017, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: May 27, 2017 05:25:28 Page generated: May 23, 2017 09:00:29
Go to top of page