Depositional environments, sediment dispersal, and provenance of the early Permian (Leonardian) Glorieta Sandstone, central New Mexico
Greg H. Mack and Edward M. Bauer
The Lower Permian (upper Leonardian) Glorieta Sandstone in north-central New Mexico represents an eastward extension of a large erg whose maximum thickness (305 m) and tallest eolian dunes (21 m high) are preserved in the Coconino Sandstone of northern Arizona. Unlike the Coconino dune field, the Glorieta segment of the erg was thinner (<92 m) and was primarily deposited as wind-rippled sand sheets that were locally traversed by dunes less than 7 m high. Crossbed orientations suggest that Glorieta dunes were transported and deposited by northeasterly trade winds, while larger Coconino dunes were driven by northerly and northwesterly onshore winds. Eolian sands of the Glorieta passed southward into a shallow sea where limestones of the San Andres Formation were deposited. Sandstone tongues of the Glorieta extend ~150 km southward into the basal San Andres Formation, and several beds of marine carbonate within the main body of the Glorieta indicate periodic northward transgression of the sea across the erg. Similar U-Pb age populations of detrital zircons in the Glorieta and Coconino suggest similar provenance of the sandstones, which is interpreted to have been deflation of a transcontinental river system whose headwaters were in the Appalachian-Ouachita Orogen and Canadian Shield, with a local source of sediment from the denuded Uncompahgria and Frontrangia uplifts of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains.
- Mack, Greg H.; Bauer, Edward M., 2014, Depositional environments, sediment dispersal, and provenance of the early Permian (Leonardian) Glorieta Sandstone, central New Mexico, in: Geology of the Sacramento Mountains region, Rawling, Geoffrey; McLemore, Virginia T.; Timmons, Stacy; Dunbar, Nelia, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 65th Field Conference, pp. 261-271.