Structure of the Espanola Basin, Rio Grande rift, New Mexico, from SAGE seismic and gravity data
John F. Ferguson, W. Scott Baldridge, Lawrence W. Braile, Shawn Biehler, Bernard Gilpin, and George R. Jiracek
Seismic and gravity data, acquired by the SAGE program over the past twelve years, are used to define the geometry of the Española basin and the extent of pre-Tertiary sedimentary rocks. The Paleozoic and Mesozoic units have been thinned and removed during Laramide uplift in an area now obscured by the younger rift basin. The Española basin is generally a shallow, asymmetric transitional structure between deeper, better developed basins to the northeast and southwest. The gravity data indicate the presence of three narrow but deep structural lows arrayed along the Embudo/Pajarito fault system. These sub-basins seem to be younger than the faults on the basin margins. This apparent focussing of deformation in the later history of the basin maybe a response to changes in regional stress or more local accommodation of the rift extension. Future work is planned to develop seismic data over one of these sub- basins, the Velarde graben, and to better define the gravity map in order to facilitate three-dimensional modeling.
- Ferguson, John F.; Baldridge, W. Scott; Braile, Lawrence W.; Biehler, Shawn; Gilpin, Bernard; Jiracek, George R., 1995, Structure of the Espanola Basin, Rio Grande rift, New Mexico, from SAGE seismic and gravity data, in: Geology of the Sante Fe Region, Bauer, Paul W.; Kues, Barry S.; Dunbar, Nelia W.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Harrison, Bruce, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 46th Field Conference, pp. 105-110.