New Mexico Geological Society
Fall Field Conference Guidebook - 38
Northeastern New Mexico
Spencer G. Lucas and Adrian P. Hunt, eds, 1987, 354 pages.
Since 1950, the New Mexico Geological Society has conducted an annual field conference focused on the geology of some portion of New Mexico and/or an adjacent state. Thirty-seven field conferences later, thousands of miles of road logging and thousands of pages of text have left untouched very little of New Mexico's geology. Ironically, one of the few areas not touched by the New Mexico Geological Society, the high plains of northeastern New Mexico, was one traveled by so many of the state's earliest settlers. The wagon trains on the Cimarron cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail traversed a landscape dominated by the volcanic peaks and flows that represent the easternmost Cenozoic volcanism in the United States. Camps were pitched in the river valleys and canyons where the exposed bedrock holds the key to understanding the relationship of Mesozoic geologic history in the Southern Rocky Mountains and on the High Plains. In 1846, Adolph Wislizenus provided some of the first geological observations on northeastern New Mexico, entering the state near the present site of Clayton and heading towrd "the Rabbit Ears" (Rabbit Ear Mountain). The field conference documented in this guidebook will begin, 141 years after Wislizenus, at Clayton, and fills one of the few remaining gaps in the New Mexico Geological Society's coverage of the geology of New Mexico. This guidebook, with its heavy emphasis on Mesozoic stratigraphy, sedimentology and paleontology, contains many original contributions to the geology of northeastern New Mexico, and we believe is a fair reflection of existing knowledge of this area. Solid coverage of geohydrology, a topic of great interest in an area so greatly affected by the "Dust Bowl" years, and an assortment of articles on economic geology, tectonics, Precambrian geology and volcanics, round out coverage of one of the last frontiers to be conquered by the New Mexico Geological Society. The first-day road log is from Clayton to Seneca, Moses, Mexhoma, Kenton, Wedding Cake Butte, Travesser Park, Clayton Lake and back to Clayton. This tour of the Dry Cimarron Valley emphasizes Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleontology, Middle Jurassic tectonism and the little known Black Mesa mining district. The second-day road log is from Clayton to Miera, Bueyeros, Mosquero, Roy, Yates and back to Clayton. This trip traverses the High Plains south and west of Clayton and the Canadian escarpment to examine Ogallala Formation stratigraphy, the Bueyeros CO2 field, Cretaceous and Jurassic stratigraphy and the geohydrology of the Roy area. The final road log is from Clayton to Des Moines, Capulin, Capulin Mountain National Monument, Folsom, Raton and the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary on Goat Hill. This tour of the plains and mesas between Clayton and Raton emphaszies volcanic rocks of the Clayton-Raton volcanic field; Folsom archaeological site; Late Cretaceous stratigraphy; and the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary.
Papers from this guidebook are available for download from the NMGS website.
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Individual papers from this guidebook are available as free downloads from the NMGS site.