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Stratigraphy of the Morrison and related formations, Colorado Plateau region, a preliminary report

Bulletin 1009-E

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Abstract

Three subdivisions of the Jurassic rocks of the Colorado Plateau region are: the Glen Canyon group, mainly eolian and fluvial sedimentary rocks; the San Rafael group, marine and marginal marine sedimentary rocks; and the Morrison formation, fluvial and lacustrine sedimentary rocks. In central and eastern Colorado the Morrison formation has not been differ- entiated into members. In eastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and in part of western Colorado, the Morrison may be divided into a lower part and an upper part; each part has two members which are di1Ierentiated on a lithologic basis. Where differentiated, the lower part of the Morrison consists either of the Salt Wash member or the Recapture member or both; these are equivalent in age and inter tongue and intergrade over a broad area in the vicinity of the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. The Salt Wash member is present in eastern Utah and parts of western Colorado, north- eastern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico. It was formed as a large alluvial plain or 'fan' by an aggrading system of braided streams diverging to the north and east from an apex in south-central Utah. The major source area of the Salt Wash was to the southwest of south-central Utah, probably in west-central Arizona and southeastern California. The member was derived mainly from sedimentary rocks. The Salt Wash deposits grade from predomi- nantly coarse texture at the apex of the 'fan' to predominantly flne texture at the margin of the 'fan'. The Salt Wash member has been arbitrarily divided into four facies: a con- glomera tic sandstone facies, a sandstone and mudstone facies, a claystone and lenticular sandstone facies, and a claystone and limestone facies. The Recapture member of the Morrison formation is present in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and small areas of southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado near the Four Corners. It was formed as a large alluvial plain or 'fan' by an aggrading system of braided streams. The Recap- ture deposits grade from predominantly coarse texture sedimentary rocks to predominantly fine texture and have been arbitrarily divided into three facies: a conglomeratic sandstone facies, a sandstone facies, and a claystone and sandstone facies. The distribution of the facies indicates that the major source area of the Recapture was south of Gallup, N. Mex., probably in west-central New Mexico. The Recapture was derived from an area of intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks. The upper part of the Morrison formation consists of the Westwater Canyon member and the Brushy Basin member. The Westwater Canyon member forms the lower portion of the upper part of the Morrison in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and places in southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorade near the Four Corners, and it intertongues and intergrades northward into the Brushy Basin member. The Westwater Canyon member was formed as a large alluvial plain or 'fan' by an aggrading system of braided streams. The Westwater deposits grade from predominantly coarse-textured sedimentary rocks to somewhat finer textured sedimentary rocks, and have been arbitrarily divided into two facies: a conglomeratic sandstone facies and a sandstone facies. The distribution of the facies indicates that the major source area of the Westwater was south of Gallup, N. Mex., probably in west-central New Mexico. The Westwater was derived from an area of intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks. The similarity of the distribution and composition of the Westwater to the Recapture indicates that the Westwater represents essentially a continuation of deposition on the Recapture 'fan'; the Westwater contains, however, considerably coarser materials. Whereas the S

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Stratigraphy of the Morrison and related formations, Colorado Plateau region, a preliminary report
Series title:
Bulletin
Series number:
1009
Chapter:
E
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1955
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
p. 125-168
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Contributions to the geology of uranium, 1953-54