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Correlation of Some Mid-Mesozoic Redbeds and Quartz Sandstones in the Santa Rita Mountains, Mustang Mountains, and Canelo Hills, Southeastern Arizona
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- Correlation of Some Mid-Mesozoic Redbeds and Quartz Sandstones in the Santa Rita Mountains, Mustang Mountains, and Canelo Hills, Southeastern Arizona
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- Mid-Mesozoic redbeds in the Santa Rita Mountains, Mustang Mountains, and Canelo Hills are lithologically and petrographically correlative. Quartz sandstone overlying the redbeds in the Mustang Mountains and Canelo Hills is also lithologically and petrographically correlative. The sediments were deposited during one or more breaks in volcanism associated with a continental magmatic arc that was active in southern Arizona during Triassic (?) and Jurassic time. The exact timing of sedimentation cannot be determined without more accurate dating of volcanics associated with the redbed strata. Redbeds of the Gardner Canyon Formation in the Santa Rita Mountains were probably deposited during and after eruption of the Mount Wrightson volcanics, the lower member of which is presently dated at 210 ±3 Ma. The Monkey Canyon redbeds and the Dark Canyon sandstone in the Canelo Hills and identical rocks in the Mustang Mountains are probably equivalent and were deposited between or during one or more hiatuses in two volcanic episodes presently dated at 165-185 Ma and 150-155 Ma, or before the 165-185 Ma volcanism and possibly as early as the period when the Gardner Canyon Formation was deposited. The Gardner Canyon Formation and Monkey Canyon redbeds are sequences of interbedded mudstone, siltstone, fine- to coarse-grained volcaniclastic sandstone, and volcanic conglomerate. They are interpreted as the product of meandering fluvial systems developed in close proximity to local volcanic sources, probably in distal alluvial fan or floodplain environments. The Dark Canyon and upper member Mount Wrightson quartz sandstones are bimodal, fine- and medium-grained, and average 93 percent monocrystalline quartz. They were probably deposited by both fluvial processes in stream channels and as windblown sand.
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- University of Arizona
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- Chase, Clement G.
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