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Circular 110—Test data for New Mexico clay materials, Part I, central New Mexico, Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties

By W. L. Hawks, 1970, 37 pp., 15 tables, 5 figs., 1 appendix.

Descriptions of clay-material localities and test data for about 65 samples. In addition to those currently used, promising deposits are Mancos shales of Tonque and Placitas, shales from the Sandia and Abo Formations near Sandia Park, shales in the Mesaverde Formation near Coyote, and a fire clay in the Morrison Formation near San Ysidro. This report is the first in a series of five reports on the clays and shales of NM. The state has been divided into five areas: central, northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast. The central area, comprising Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Sandavol, and Santa Fe Counties, is the subject of this report. It is not an exhaustive study of all clays and shales in the area, but merely an accumulation of data developed to date by the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources.

Many geologic terms, such as clay, shale, mudstone, bentonite, and claystone, are used to identify rocks containing clay minerals. In this report all rocks containing clay minerals are considered clays and the terms "clay" and "shale" are used interchangeably to describe such rocks. Since the late 1930s approximately 65 samples of clay materials have been collected and tested by various investigators in the area of Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties. Most of the accumulated data is here published for the first time.

The area has three operating ceramic-product plants, all in Bernalillo County. The principal products are brick, wall tile, and portland cement. Brick clays are currently being mined from the Madera Limestone near Cedro and the Mancos Shale in Cerrillos. Other deposits that show promise of commercial possibilities are Mancos shales at Tonque and Placitas, shales from the Sandia and Abo Formations near Sandia Park, shales in the Mesaverde Formation near Coyote, and a fire clay in the Morrison Formation near San Ysidro.

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