Lexicon of Phanerozoic stratigraphy names used in the Albuquerque area
Barry S. Kues, Spencer G. Lucas, and Raymond V. Ingersoll


This lexicon includes the names of all Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic lithostratigraphic units in the Albuquerque area of north- central New Mexico formally and informally used through 1981. The area covered extends on the north to a line running from just east of Crownpoint approximately to Cochiti Pueblo, including the southern part of the Nacimiento Mountains; on the east, it includes the Hagan basin and the Sandia-Manzanita-Manzano ranges eastward to about the longitude of Estancia; on the south, it extends to the southern boundaries of Valencia and Cibola counties; and on the west, it includes Cebolleta Mesa and the Grants-Ambrosia Lake district to about the longitude of Bluewater. This lexicon does not include volcanic units associated with the Valles Caldera, except for a few units that extend south into the Jemez Pueblo area at the arbitrarily defined northern boundary of "Albuquerque Country."

Because of space limitations, it was impractical to use the exact format of earlier lexicons in New Mexico Geological Society guide-books (e.g., Lochman-Balk, 1959, 1967; Northrop, 1973), or to provide the extended summaries of units such as were presented by Wilmarth (1938), Jicha and Lochman-Balk (1958), and Keroher and others (1966). Rather than attempt to summarize the lithological variability, history of study, and changes of nomenclature of each unit in detail, we have chosen to include a large number of key references to papers where such information may be found. Only named groups, formations, and members (including tongues and lentils) are included in this lexicon; informal units such as "lower sandstone member" are mentioned only in the discussions of the named unit of which they are a part. Some igneous flows, especially around Mt. Taylor, have not been given formal names and are omitted. In any listing of members within a formation, the members are presented in ascending order. Chronostratigraphic units such as Virgilian Series are omitted.

Each entry begins with the unit name; parenthetical insertions after the unit name give alternate usages and/or indicate the formation or group in which the unit is (or was) included. Names of validly defined, widely accepted units are capitalized; lower-case names are of valid units once used but since abandoned in the Albuquerque area (though not elsewhere); and bracketed lower-case names are of discarded or abandoned names no longer in use anywhere. 

Information about each unit is given in a consistent numerical order: (1) type locality and/or derivation of name; (2) distribution in the Albuquerque area; (3) brief summary of salient lithologies in the unit; (4) brief comments on nomenclatural or stratigraphic problems and changes in usage of the unit name; and (5) key references, especially those dealing with the unit in the Albuquerque area, that are not cited elsewhere in the discussion of the unit. Some names lack entries under one or more of the above numbers because pertinent information was unavailable or is irrelevant.

Most of the information on Cenozoic units comes from Lucas and Ingersoll (1981).


  1. Kues, Barry S.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Ingersoll, Raymond V., 1982, Lexicon of Phanerozoic stratigraphy names used in the Albuquerque area, in: Albuquerque Country II, Grambling, J. A.; Wells, S. G., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 33rd Field Conference, pp. 125-138.

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