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The Chinle Formation of the Paria Plateau Area, Arizona and Utah
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- The Chinle Formation of the Paria Plateau Area, Arizona and Utah
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- In the Paria Plateau area of northern Arizona and southern Utah the Chinle formation of Upper Triassic age consists of a thick series of Ienticular sandstone, siltstone, claystone, and limestone. The series thins northwestward from about 900 feet at Lees Ferry, Ariz., to about 800 feet at Paria, Utah. Four members of the Chinle formation are recognized—1) the basal Shinarump member composed of conglomeratic sandstone and subordinate shale, 2) a unit, herein named the Lowery Spring member, composed of sandstone and mudstone, 3) the Petrified Forest member composed of bentonitic siltstone and claystone and thin sandstone, and 4) the Owl Rock member composed of cherty limestone and calcareous siltstone. Only the Petrified Forest member is present at all localities in the Paria Plateau area. The Shinarump member was deposited in topographic low areas on an erosion surface and its distribution is irregular. The Lowery Spring and Owl Rock members grade and pinch-out toward the northwest and are not present at Paria, Utah. The upper contact of the Chinle formation is locally unconformable. The three lowermost members were deposited on a broad, flat plain between the Cordilleran geosyncline and highlands to the southeast. In Owl Rock time the rising Cordilleran geanticline cut off the north-westward drainage of Chinle streams and a depositional basin trending southwest was formed.
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- University of Arizona
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- Harshbarger, John W.
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