Petrography and provenance of Cambro-Ordovician Bliss Sandstone, southern New Mexico and west Texas
J. Christopher Stageman
The Cambrian-Ordovician Bliss Formation consists of high-energy wave- and storm-generated deposits. Bliss sandstones are quite diverse but quartz arenites and subarkoses are the dominant lithic types. Arkoses are subordinant and preferentially occur near the base of the formation. Petrographic and modal analyses indicate that Bliss sandstones were derived from Precambrian and Cambrian granitic plutons, and metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks of southern New Mexico. Locally, detrital grains and deflected paleocurrent patterns indicate the presence of basement structural highs. The Bliss Formation is part of a miogeoclinal assemblage deposited on a passive continental margin. The Precambrian-lower Paleozoic succession of southern New Mexico and west Texas represents the transition from a rifted setting to an Atlantic-type margin. Bliss sandstones, however, do not consist of primary rift sediments, but largely of reworked cratonal detritus.
- Stageman, J. Christopher, 1988, Petrography and provenance of Cambro-Ordovician Bliss Sandstone, southern New Mexico and west Texas, in: Cretaceous and Laramide tectonic evolution of southwestern New Mexico, Mack, G. H.; Lawton, T. F.; Lucas, S. G., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 39th Field Conference, pp. 123-126.