Paleogene synorogenic sedimentation in the Gallisteo Basin related to the Tijeras-Canoncito Fault system
John C. Abbott, Steven M. Cather, and Laurel B. Goodwin
The strata between the Cretaceous Mesaverde Group and the Oligocene Espinaso Formation were deposited in a synorogenic, continental basin (the Galisteo basin) during the Laramide orogeny. Three lines of evidence suggest that the Tijeras-Cañoncito fault system controlled extensional subsidence of the Galisteo basin. First, stratigraphic thickening and highly variable paleocurrent directions adjacent to the fault system in both the Hagan and Cerrillos-Lamy areas indicate that the axis of the basin was parallel to the fault system. Second, there were large components of fault-parallel paleoflow in the lower unit of the basin adjacent to the fault system near Galisteo Creek. Paleoflow was both to the northeast and to the southwest, recording fault control on sediment dispersal. Third, the Tijeras-Cañoncito fault system is the only major fault system identified in the area, and is the most plausible structural control on Paleogene extensional subsidence. Although the fault system appears to have controlled a large part of the extensional subsidence of the basin, the fault system was not the southeastern boundary of the basin. The presence of Paleogene strata on the southeast fault block, the lack of scarp-derived deposits, and the scarcity of northwesterly paleoflow adjacent to the fault system preclude major uplift and denudation of the southeast fault block during the Laramide orogeny, and suggest that the fault system was located within the basin. Because the southeast block was not emergent, the maximum displacement magnitude of the Paleogene dipslip component on the Tijeras-Cañoncito fault system is constrained to approximately the stratigraphic thickness of the strata of the Galisteo basin (about 1300 m, northwest-side-down).
- Abbott, John C.; Cather, Steven M.; Goodwin, Laurel B., 1995, Paleogene synorogenic sedimentation in the Gallisteo Basin related to the Tijeras-Canoncito Fault system, in: Geology of the Santa 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. 271-278.