New Mexico Geological Society
Fall Field Conference Guidebook - 22
San Luis Basin (Colorado)


H. L. James, ed., 1971, 340 pages, reprinted 2001.

The 22nd annual field conference embraces the San Luis Basin and its highland environs. Most people refer to this agricultural gem as "San Luis Valley," but geologically it is one of the truly great intermontane structural basins of the Rocky Mountain-Southwest; bounded on the east by the uplifted Sangre de Cristo Range and hinged on the west by the volcanic heights of the San Juans. Its width is 50 miles; its length a surprising 150 miles, stretching from Poncha Pass on the north and inclusive of the Taos Plateau south into New Mexico. It is a beautiful expanse that is dotted with volcanoes, fertile farms and lush ranchlands. It is ribboned by a great river of history and set in the midst of Swiss-like mountains. Indeed, an interesting field for study. The first day road log is from Alamosa to the eastern San Juan Mountains, via Alamosa River, Jasper, Summitville, South Fork, and return. The trip will involve a circuitous route through the eastern San Juan Mountains. The second day road log is from Alamosa to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Poncha Pass, Salida, Howard, and return via Saguache, and Monte Vista. The geologic character of the San Luis Basin and the east flanking Sangre de Cristo Mountains will be examined. The third day road log follows the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

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Table of Contents:

Note —Downloads of the papers below are free. Road logs mini-papers, maps, and other sections are only available in print.

  1. Third day, rail log, Antonito, Colorado, to Chama, New Mexico
    — Richards L. Burroughs and A. P. Butler, pp. 39-67.
  2. Supplemental road log no. 4: Chama, New Mexico, to Antonito, Colorado
    — New Mexico Geological Society Road Logging Committee, pp. 82-87.
  3. Papers:

    Note — To download papers from this guidebook, you will need a PDF viewer like the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  4. Lexicon of stratigraphic names used in south-central Colorado amd northern New Mexico, San Luis Basin (2.12 MB PDF)
    — Christina Lochman-Balk and James E. Bruning, pp. 101-111.
  5. The Great Sand Dunes of southern Colorado (1.50 MB PDF)
    — Ross B. Johnson, pp. 123-128.
  6. Water resources of the San Luis Valley, Colorado (1.05 MB PDF)
    — Philip A. Emery, pp. 129-132.
  7. Flora of the San Luis Valley (913 KB PDF)
    — Hobart N. Dixon, pp. 133-136.
  8. Fauna of the San Luis Valley (753 KB PDF)
    — Veryl F. Keen, pp. 137-139.
  9. Pennsylvanian and Permian stratigraphy, tectonism, and history, northern Sangre de Cristo Range, Colorado (4.69 MB PDF)
    — Richard H. DeVoto, Frederick A. Peel, and Walter H. Pierce, pp. 141-163.
  10. Glaciation in the Sangre de Cristo Range, Colorado (793 KB PDF)
    — Richard H. Peterson, pp. 165-167.
  11. Stratigraphic relations between Bonanza Center and adjacent parts of the San Juan volcanic field, south-central Colorado (1.98 MB PDF)
    — Dennis L. Bruns, Rudy C. Epis, Robert J. Weimer, and Thomas A. Steven, pp. 183-190.
  12. The Rio Grande rift, Part I: Modifications and additions (2.59 MB PDF)
    — Charles E. Chapin, pp. 191-201.
  13. They came to hunt, Early man in the San Luis Valley (1.27 MB PDF)
    — Dorothy D. Wilson, pp. 203-207.
  14. Preliminary paleopalynological analysis of Alamosa Formation sediments (580 KB PDF)
    — Charles R. Price, pp. 219-220.
  15. Minerals of the San Luis Valley and adjacent areas of Colorado (983 KB PDF)
    — Charles F. Bauer, pp. 231-234.
  16. The San Luis valley-a land of paradox (915 KB PDF)
    — Robert H. Buchanan, pp. 243-245.
  17. Creede shale fossils (612 KB PDF)
    — Thompson, J. Robert, Jr., pp. 247-248.
  18. Geological development of the Bonanza-San Luis Valley-Sangre de Cristo Range area, south-central Colorado (3.43 MB PDF)
    — Knepper, Daniel H., Jr. and Ronald W. Marrs, pp. 249-264.
  19. The Summer Coon volcano, eastern San Juan Mountains, Colorado (1.88 MB PDF)
    — Mertzman, Stanley A., Jr, pp. 265-272.
  20. A study of recent sedimentation in the San Luis Hills (799 KB PDF)
    — Robert P. Fling, pp. 273-275.
  21. Geology of the San Luis Hills, south-central Colorado (2.50 MB PDF)
    — Richard L. Burroughs, pp. 277-287.
  22. Historical sketch of Fort Garland (878 KB PDF)
    — William Hoagland, pp. 301-303.
  23. Narrow gauge over Cumbres (3.36 MB PDF)
    — Gordon Chappell, pp. 305-319.