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Socorro Area Guidebook

By: Virginia T. McLemore and Mark R. Bowie; compilers, 1987, 75 pages.

Guidebook for the 24th annual meeting of the Clay Minerals Society and 36th annual Clay Minerals Conference

The roadlogs in this guidebook were written primarily for the field trips of the 24th annual meeting of the Clay Minerals Society and the 36th annual Clay Minerals Conference held in Socorro, New Mexico, October 19-22, 1987. With permission, the authors have drawn freely on appropriate parts of published roadlogs from field trips in and around Socorro hosted by the New Mexico Geological Society (Foster and Luce, 1963a, b; Weber and Willard, 1963; Smith et al., 1983) and the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources (Chapin et al., 1978a). Nomenclature and correlation of Cenozoic strata follows that established by Osburn and Chapin (1983a, b). Radiometric ages of major ash-flow tuffs and related cauldron collapse events were updated by high precision 40Ar/39Ar dating by McIntosh et al. (1986). This guidebook is organized into three parts: 1) an introduction to the Socorro area; 2) roadlogs, and 3) short papers that supplement the field trips. The roadlogs have been divided into three trips. The premeeting field trip on Sunday, October 18, 1987 (Trip 1), is to examine clays in the Luis Lopez and Popotosa Formations and to see manganese mineralization in the Luis Lopez mining district. The mid-meeting trip on Tuesday, October 20, has been divided into Trips 2a-d because of its length. We will examine clays and soils of the La Jencia and Socorro Basins (Rio Grande valley) and drive through a structurally complex section of Paleozoic rocks on the east side of the Rio Grande and into the Jornada del Muerto. At the end of the day we will tour the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. In case of inclement weather, the mid-meeting trip will consist of Trips 2a, 3, 2c, and 2d (in that order). Nearby attractions and day trips for spouses, family, and friends of conference participants are described in the introduction. We hope you enjoy your stay in Socorro and get the opportunity to visit other areas of the Southwest.

Acknowledgments — We are grateful to the following people for their assistance: Charles Carroll (Bureau of Land Management), Gretchen Roybal (NMBMMR), George Austin (NMBMMR), Linda Frank (NMIMT), and Frank Kottlowski (Director, NMBMMR). Numerous people in addition to the field trip leaders have spent years studying the geology in the Socorro area (C. E. Chapin, C. T. Smith, G. R. Osburn, J. R. MacMillan, M. N. Machette, W. J. Stone, S. E. Hook, and others), and their work is cited where appropriate and gratefully acknowledged. Technical assistance by Shawn Leppert and Linda Frank is appreciated.

Virginia T. McLemore
Geologist, NMBMMR
Field Trip Chairman

Field Trip Committee:
Mark R. Bowie
John W. Hawley
Richard M. Chamberlin
James L. Post

Socorro, May 1987

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The guidebook is out of print, but is available for free in PDF format (11.6 MB).