Stratigraphy and petrology of the El Paso Formation in the Silver City Range New Mexico



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The El Paso Formation in the Silver City Range of New Mexico conformably overlies the arenaceous Bliss Formation and is disconformably overlain by the Cable Canyon Sandstone Member of the Montoya Group. The El Paso is between 106 and 171 meters of limestone and dolomite which can be divided into three members. The contacts between the members may be gradational, possibly accounting for some of the observed thickness variation of the members between the measured sections of this study. The lower member is between 14 and 51 meters of dark gray, thinly bedded dolomite which weathers buff due to an appreciable hematite content. It contains irregular masses of silica and dolomite intermixed with hematite. The middle member is between 13 and 63 meters of medium and dark gray, thin-bedded limestone which weathers light bluish gray. The upper member is between 35 and 85 meters of massive, cherty, dark gray dolomite which weathers light to dark gray. [...]