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Open-file Report - 535
Geology, mineral resources, and geoarchaeology of the Montoya Butte quadrangle, including the Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district, Socorro County, New Mexico

Virginia T. McLemore

2010

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The Montoya Butte quadrangle is located in the northern Sierra Cuchillo Range and western San Mateo Mountains in southwestern Socorro County, central New Mexico (Fig. 1, 2, 3). This area lies in the northeastern Mogollon-Datil volcanic field. The area is accessed by gravel roads, including State Highway 52 from the west and a county road through Cañada Alamosa. Cañada Alamosa, translated as Canyon of the Cottonwoods, is the main drainage through the quadrangle and also is known as Alamosa Creek, Alamosa River, and Rio Alamosa. Monticello Box is a prominent rock-walled canyon along Cañada Alamosa in the northern portion of the quadrangle (Fig. 4). The Ojo Caliente No. 2 (or Taylor) mining district is in the northern Sierra Cuchillo, south of Monticello Box (Fig. 5). The Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district consists of volcanic-epithermal vein deposits (Taylor mine) and the Apache Warm Springs beryllium deposit (also known as the Sullivan Ranch site; Griffitts and Alminas, 1968; Hillard, 1967, 1969; Meeves, 1966). The purposes of this report are to:

  • Map and describe the structures controlling the mineral resources in the area
  • Describe geologic processes that formed the landscape and the rocks in the upper Cañada Alamosa
  • Determine the resource potential for mineral deposits in the area
  • Describe the geoarchaeology of the area, i.e., how the geology relates to the mineral resources and archaeological features in Cañada Alamosa
  • Provide regional correlations of the rocks in the San Mateo Mountains and Sierra Cuchillo based upon mapping, stratigraphic sections, regional field reconnaissance, and previous studies
  • Provide the geologic data required for subsequent studies of the surface and ground water in the Cañada Alamosa area.

The quadrangle geologic map is a separate open-file geologic map (McLemore, 2011). The hydrology of Alamosa Creek basin will be described in future aquifer mapping studies by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR). Detailed mapping of the Quaternary geology is underway and also will be in a future report.

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