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Upper Paleozoic Stratigraphy, central NM

Upper Paleozoic fusulinid, Sandia Mountains, NM.
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Bruce Allen

A variety of geological studies involving Upper Paleozoic strata, conducted during the mid-twentieth century, produced a preliminary stratigraphic nomenclature for Carboniferous and Permian sedimentary rocks in New Mexico, and a general understanding of the lithostratigraphy, age and distribution of these rock units. Ongoing investigations by geologists from the NMBGMR, universities, museums, and industry are aimed at refining this understanding. For example, strata pertaining to the Pennsylvanian System are often poorly delineated and/or subdivided on geologic maps, due in large part to their lithostratigraphic complexity and a loosely defined stratigraphic nomenclature. Progress has been made during the past 15 years toward improving the stratigraphic nomenclature for Upper Paleozoic strata in New Mexico, and documenting stratigraphic patterns, both of which should provide a better foundation for ongoing and future studies of these rocks. Selected documents providing specific examples of these efforts may be viewed below.


  1. Allen, B.D., Lucas, S.G., Krainer, K., Gomez, F., Torres, M., and Hurren, C., 2019, Distribution and stratigraphy of Upper Pennsylvanian rocks in the Tijeras Canyon area, central New Mexico [poster]: NM Geological Society Spring Meeting, 12 April, Socorro.
  2. Allen, B.D., and Lucas, S.G., 2018, The Late Pennsylvanian (Missourian) index fusulinid Eowaeringella in the Manzanita Mountains of central New Mexico: New Mexico Geology, v. 40, n. 2, p. 35-44.
  3. Krainer, K., Lucas, S.G., Allen, B.D., Barrick, J.E., Black, B., and Moore, P.A., 2017, The Pennsylvanian section in the Los Pinos Mountains, Socorro County, New Mexico: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 77, p. 199-224.
  4. Lucas, S.G., Krainer, K., Allen, B.D., and Vachard, D., 2014, The Pennsylvanian section at Cedro Peak: a reference section in the Manzanita Mountains, central New Mexico: New Mexico Geology, v. 36, n. 1, p. 3-24.

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