Ramah Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation - A new stratigraphic unit in the Zuni Basin, west-central New Mexico

New Mexico Geology



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Nonmarine deposition accompanying and following a regression of the Cretaceous Interior Seaway during late Turonian time left a sedimentary sequence consisting of fluvial channel sandstones, thin overbank sandstones, and paludal shales containing thin coal beds. This unit is herein designated the Ramah Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation. The Ramah Member is locally well exposed in the Zuni Basin of west-central New Mexico where it rests on the Gallup Sandstone (marine) and is overlain by the distinctive, feldspathic Torrivio Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation (formerly of the Gallup Sandstone) Near Ramah, New Mexico the sequence overlies the F member of the Gallup but northward it overlies progressively younger members. These younger members are discrete sand-stone units associated with minor oscillations of relative sea level during a major regional-scale regression. North and east of Puerco Gap, near Gallup. New Mexico, the Ramah Member thins appreciably, and where unmappable it may be included with the Torrivio Member Southward from Gallup in the Zuni Basin. the Ramah locally approaches 150 ft in thickness and contains minable coal beds. The interval was previously referred to as the coal-bearing member of the Gallup (Mapel and Yesberger, 1985) or the Ramah unit (Anderson and Stricker, 1904). In the northern part of the Zuni Basin a problem may exist locally in determinig the top of the Ramah Member. This is due to the presence of fluviel sandstone with coarse-grained facies that looks much the s ame as the Torrivio Member, but underlines it Two criteria may be employed to distiguish the lower sandstone from the Torrivio and properly place it in the strartigraphic succession: (1) the lower sandstone is generally not as feldspathic as the Torrivio nor do the coarse-grained facies contain pebble-size material; and (2) the lower sandstone is not nearly as widespread as the overlying Torrivio. which has a blanket geometry. The type section of the Ramah Member is in the SE1/4 NW1/4 sec. 16 T10N R16W approximately 4 mi southwest of the town of Ramah. The principal coal lies near the top of the member and was mined during the 1920s to supply coal for the Zuni Pueblo schools.

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Ramah Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation - A new stratigraphic unit in the Zuni Basin, west-central New Mexico
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New Mexico Geology
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New Mexico Geology
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