Mesozoic stratigraphy at Durango, Colorado
— Spencer G. Lucas and Andrew B. Heckert


A nearly 3-km-thick section of Mesozoic sedimentary rocks is exposed at Durango, Colorado. This section consists of Upper Triassic, Middle-Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous strata that well record the geological history of southwestern Colorado during much of the Mesozoic. At Durango, Upper Triassic strata of the Chinle Group are ~ 300 m of red beds deposited in mostly fluvial paleoenvironments. Overlying Middle-Upper Jurassic strata of the San Rafael Group are ~ 300 m thick and consist of eolian sandstone, salina limestone and siltstone/sandstone deposited on an arid coastal plain. The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation is ~ 187 m thick and consists of sandstone and mudstone deposited in fluvial environments. The only Lower Cretaceous strata at Durango are fluvial sandstone and conglomerate of the Burro Canyon Formation. Most of the overlying Upper Cretaceous section (Dakota, Mancos, Mesaverde, Lewis, Fruitland and Kirtland units) represents deposition in and along the western margin of the Western Interior seaway during Cenomanian-Campanian time. Volcaniclastic strata of the overlying McDermott Formation are the youngest Mesozoic strata at Durango.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Lucas, Spencer G.; Heckert, Andrew B., 2005, Mesozoic stratigraphy at Durango, Colorado, in: Geology of the Chama Basin, Lucas, Spencer G.; Zeigler, Kate E.; Lueth, Virgil W.; Owen, Donald E., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 56th Field Conference, pp. 160-169.

[see guidebook]