Tertiary volcanic rocks of the Mineral Mountain and Teapot Mountain quadrangles, Pinal County, Arizona

Open-File Report 79-716




The widespread distribution of Tertiary volcanic rocks in south-central Arizona is controlled in part by prevolcanic structures along which volcanic vents were localized. Volcanic rocks in the Mineral Mountain and Teapot Mountain quadrangles mark the site of a major northwest-trending structural hingeline. This hingeline divides an older Precambrian X terrane on the west from intensely deformed sequences of rock as young as Pennsylvanian on the east, suggesting increased westerly uplift. The volcanic rocks consist of a pile of complexly interlayered rhyolite, andesite, dacite, flows and intrusive rocks, water-laid tuffs, and very minor olivine basalt. Although the rocks erupted from several different vents, time relations, space relations, and chemistry each give strong evidence of a single source for all the rocks. Available data (by the K-Ar dating method) on hornblende and biotite separates from the volcanic rocks range from 14 to 19 m.y. and establish the pre-middle Miocene age of major dislocations along the structural hingeline. Most of the volcanic rocks contain glass, either at the base of the flows or as an envelope around the intrusive phases. One of the intrusive rhyolites, however, seems to represent one of the final eruptions. Intense vesiculation of the intrusive rhyolite suggests a large content of volatiles at the time of its eruption. Mineralization is associated with the more silicic of these middle Miocene volcanic rocks; specifically, extensive fissure quartz veins contain locally significant amounts of silver, lead, and zinc and minor amounts of gold. Many of the most productive deposits are hosted by the volcanic rocks, although others occur in the Precambrian rocks. Magnetic data correspond roughly to the geology in outlining the overall extent of the volcanic rocks as a magnetic low.

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Tertiary volcanic rocks of the Mineral Mountain and Teapot Mountain quadrangles, Pinal County, Arizona
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 19 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.