Stratigraphy and correlation of Triassic strata around the Nacimiento and Jemez uplifts, northern New Mexico
Spencer G. Lucas and Andrew B. Heckert
Triassic strata exposed along the flanks of the Nacimiento and Jemez uplifts (Sandoval County, northern New Mexico) belong to the Middle Triassic Moenkopi Formation (Anton Chico Member) and the Upper Triassic Chinle Group (Agua Zarca, Salitral, Poleo, and Petrified Forest Formations). The Moenkopi Formation (strata previously assigned by most workers to the Permian Bernal Formation) is as much as 39 m thick and mostly grayish red sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and intraformational conglomerate. It disconformably overlies the Permian Glorieta Sandstone and is disconformably overlain by the Agua Zarca Formation. The Agua Zarca is as much as 61 m thick and mostly white to brown, trough-crossbedded, quartzose sandstone and siliceous conglomerate. The overlying Salitral Formation is as much as 102 m thick and mostly purplish, smectitic mudstone. The Poleo Formation disconformably overlies the Salitral and is as much as 41 m thick and mostly grayish yellow, trough-crossbedded litharenite, subarkose and intrabasinal and siliceous conglomerate. Above the Poleo, the Petrified Forest Formation is as much as 340 m thick and dominated by reddish brown, smectitic mudstone. South of San Miguel Canyon (T19, R1W), the Poleo Formation essentially pinches out, though thin (<20m), lenticular equivalents of the Poleo are locally present as far southeast as Vallecito Creek (T16N, R2E). Furthermore, throughout Sandoval County, the lower portion of the mudstone-dominated interval above theAgua Zarca Formation, even where the Poleo Formation is absent, is dominated by purplish mudstone characteristic of the Salitral Formation. Therefore, to the south of San Miguel Canyon the Salitral and Poleo Formations can be recognized locally, but the thick, mudstone-dominated section above the Agua Zarca is assigned to the Petrified Forest Formation. The Correo Sandstone Bed crops out as a bench-forming sandstone up to 15 m thick at the top of the Petrified Forest Formation along the southern flank of the Nacimiento uplift. Fossil vertebrates indicate the Petrified Forest Formation ranges in age from Adamanian to Revueltian (latest Carnian-Norian) and support lithostratigraphic correlation of the Triassic strata exposed in Sandoval County to nearby Triassic outcrops in the Chama basin, Lucero uplift, and Hagan basin.
- Lucas, Spencer G.; Heckert, Andrew B., 1996, Stratigraphy and correlation of Triassic strata around the Nacimiento and Jemez uplifts, northern New Mexico, in: The Jemez Mountains Region, Goff, Fraser; Kues, Barry S.; Rogers, Margaret Ann; McFadden, Les D.; Gardner, Jamie N., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 47th Field Conference, pp. 199-204.