Upper Cretaceous molluscan record along a transect from Virden, New Mexico, to Del Rio, Texas

New Mexico Geology

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Updated age assignments and new collections of molluscan fossils from lower Cenomanian through upper Campanian strata in Texas permit a much refined biostratigraphic correlation with the rocks of New Mexico and the Western Interior. Generic names of many Late Cretaceous ammonites and inoceramid bivalves from Texas are updated to permit this correlation. Strata correlated in the west-to-east transect include the lower Cenomanian Beartooth Quartzite and Sarten Sandstone of southwest New Mexico, and the Eagle Mountains Formation, Del Rio Clay, Buda Limestone, and. basal beds of the Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations of the Texas-Mexico border area. Middle Cenomanian strata are lacking in southwestern New Mexico but are present in the lower parts of the Chispa Summit and Boquillas Formations in southwest Texas. Upper Cenomanian and lower Turonian rocks are present at many localities in New Mexico and Texas in the Mancos Shale and Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations. Middle Turonian and younger rocks seem to be entirely nonmarine in southwestern New Mexico, but they are marine in the Rio Grande area in the Chispa. Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations. The upper part of the Chispa Summit and Boquillas contain late Turonian fossils. Rocks of Coniacian and Santonian age are present high in the Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations, and in the lower part of the Austin. The San Carlos, Aguja, Pen, and Austin Formations contain fossils of Campanian age. Fossils representing at least 38 Upper Cretaceous ammonite zones are present along the transect. Collections made in recent years in southwestern New Mexico and at Sierra de Cristo Rey just west of downtown El Paso, Texas, have been well treated and do not need revision. Taxonomic names and zonations published in the pre-1970 literature on the Rio Grande area of Texas have been updated. New fossil collections from the Big Bend National Park, Texas, allow for a much refined correlation in the central part of the transect in Texas. Middle Turonian-Campanian zonation in southwest Texas is based mainly on ammonites of the Family Collignoniceratidae, as opposed to the scaphitid and baculitid ammonites that are especially abundant farther north in the Western Interior.

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Upper Cretaceous molluscan record along a transect from Virden, New Mexico, to Del Rio, Texas
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New Mexico Geology
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New Mexico Geology
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