Structural controls on basin-margin sedimentation--Pennsylvanian Taos trough, New Mexico, and contemporary Belize, Central America
Patricia W. Dickerson
Regional structural influences on mixed carbonate—siliciclastic basinmargin sedimentation in the Pennsylvanian Taos trough were analogous in several respects to influences on sedimentation in contemporary Belize. Common elements include episodically rising granitic highlands at the basin margins, supplying siliciclastic sediments, as well as faults and fault-bounded ridges active during carbonate-platform sedimentation and localizing reef or mound development.
Beyond the basin margins, however, the differences are significant. There was no wave-resistant organic barrier to snorkel along at the Pennsylvanian platform edge, as there is in Belize. Subsurface data are sparse, but apparently the carbonate platform of the southern Taos trough sloped gradually basinward. Additionally, whereas the Taos trough was relatively narrow and almost surrounded by highlands, the Gulf of Honduras east of Belize opens into the abyssal depths of the Cayman trench and the Caribbean Sea. There, siliciclastic sediments commonly bypass the shelf and are carried out through channels in the reef to be deposited at the foot of the steep slope or beyond.
The observations on basin-margin structure and sedimentation presented here are based upon several years' work in the Sangre de Cristo, as well as on a recent aerial and surface reconnaissance and underwater sampling in Belize.
- Dickerson, Patricia W., 1984, Structural controls on basin-margin sedimentation--Pennsylvanian Taos trough, New Mexico, and contemporary Belize, Central America, in: Rio Grande rift--northern New Mexico, Baldridge, W. S.; Dickerson, P. W.; Riecker, R. E.; Zidek, J., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 35th Field Conference, pp. 101-105.