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The map area includes Fort Garland, Colo., and the surrounding area, which is primarily rural. Fort Garland was established in 1858 to protect settlers in the San Luis Valley, then part of the Territory of New Mexico. East of the town are the Garland mesas (basalt-covered tablelands), which are uplifted as horsts with the Central Sangre de Cristo fault zone. The map also includes the northern part of the Culebra graben, a deep structural basin that extends from south of San Luis (as the Sanchez graben) to near Blanca, about 8 km west of Fort Garland. The oldest rocks exposed in the map area are early Proterozic basement rocks (granites in Ikes Creek block) that occupy an intermediate structural position between the strongly uplifted Blanca Peak block and the Culebra graben. The basement rocks are overlain by Oligocene volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of unknown origin. The volcanic rocks were buried by a thick sequence of basin-fill deposits of the Santa Fe Group as the Rio Grande rift formed about 25 million years ago. The Servilleta Basalt, a regional series of 3.7?4.8 Ma old flood basalts, was deposited within sediment, and locally provides a basis for dividing the group into upper and lower parts. Landslide deposits and colluvium that rest on sediments of the Santa Fe Group cover the steep margins of the mesas. Exposures of the sediment beneath the basalt and within the low foothills east of the Central Sangre de Cristo fault zone are comprised of siltstones, sandstones, and minor fluvial conglomerates. Most of the low ground surrounding the mesas and in the graben is covered by surficial deposits of Quaternary age. The alluvial deposits are subdivided into three Pleistocene-age units and three Holocene-age units. The oldest Pleistocene gravel (unit Qao) is preserved as isolated remnants that cap high surfaces north and east of Fort Garland. The primary geologic hazards in the map area are from earthquakes, landslides, and localized flooding. The Central Sangre de Cristo fault zone shows evidence for latest Pleistocene to possible early Holocene movement. The landslides may have seismogenic origins; that is, they may be stimulated by strong ground shaking during large earthquakes. This revised geologic map is based on previous mapping by Wallace (1997) and new mapping, primarily of the Quaternary deposits, by Machette.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Revised Geologic Map of the Fort Garland Quadrangle, Costilla County, Colorado