Tertiary and Quaternary stratigraphy and vertebrate paleontology of parts of northwestern Texas and eastern New Mexico

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Gustavson, Thomas C.

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University of Texas at Austin. Bureau of Economic Geology


This field guide summarizes recent interpretations of the upper Cenozoic stratigraphy of parts of the Southern High Plains and Rolling Plains in northwestern Texas and eastern New Mexico. Processes that formed lacustrine basins, which pond surface water on the High Plains that is recharged to the Ogallala aquifer. are also described. Field trip stops were selected to illustrate the depositional facies and paleosols of Cenozoic formations, Cenozoic local faunas, and lacustrine basins. Eolian facies (loess and sheet sands) and calcic paleosols that characterize the Quaternary Blackwater Draw Formation and the upper part of the Neogene Ogallala Formation (Group) are emphasized (Stops 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13) (fig. 1). Fluvial facies in the Ogallala Formation are described from exposures at both the east and northwest erosional limits of the unit (Stops 3, 6, 10, 12, and 13). Sections in the Ogallala. Blanco, and Quaternary Tule Formations containing local vertebrate faunas of Clarendonian age (Stops 6 and 14), Hemphillian age (Stops 3, 6, 15, 16, and 17). Blancan age (Stop 5) and lrvingtonlan age (Stop 8) are described Oocations of Stops 14-17 are given on separate maps). Evidence of the geomorphic processes of subsidence induced by piping and subsidence related to dissolution of CaC03 , which led to the development of lake basins on the High Plains is discussed at Stop 2.


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