Stratigraphy of Southeastern Arizona
Cochise College
Geology of Southeastern Arizona      Stratigraphy of Southeastern Arizona
Virtual Geology Museum    
 Arizona Geology     

Geology Home Page
Roger Weller, geology instructor  
wellerr@cochise.edu
copyright 2010-R.Weller   last updated:  10/6/10/09  


Stratigraphy

Data for these formations were taken from: Lexicon of Geologic Names of Southern Arizona,
by Larry Mayer,1978, in: Land of Cochise, New Mexico Geol. Soc. Guidebook,
29th Field Conference, p.143-155.
Geologic Column from Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 54a

This web page is broken down into two parts:
    A. Specific Formations
    B. References on Generalized Stratigraphy


part A- specific formations
Precambrian formations
Pinal Schist
  strongly foliated sericite schist interbedded with quartzose grits of sedimentary origin
  maximum. thickness- 6000m

  views of Pinal Schist
  references-
    Pinal Schist in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 24-
    *Lance, F.L, 1959, Precambrian Rocks of Southeastern Arizona, Southern Arizona Guidebook II, L.A. Heindl,
          ed., Arizons Geological Society, p.12-16.

    *Shride, A.F., 1967, Younger Precambrian geology in southern Arizona: U.S.G.S. Prof. Paper 566, 89p.
    *Silver, L.T., 1978, Precambrian formations and Precambrian history in Cochise County, southeast Arizona:
     in-Callender,J.F., Wilt, J.L., and Clemons, R.E., eds., Land of Cochise: New Mexico Geological Society Field
     Conference, 29th,  Guidebook, p.157-163.

Paleozoic formations
Bolsa Quartzite (Middle Cambrian)
 coarse-grained quartzite, some basal conglomerate
 colors variable: white to pink to dark orange-red
 maximum. thickness- 131 m

 views of Bolsa Quartzite
 photo of Bolsa Quartzite-from Southern Arizona Fossils

 references-
   Bolsa Quartzite in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 28-   
   *Heindl, L.A., and Mc Clymonds, N.E., 1964, Younger Precambrian formations and the Bolsa (?) Quartzite of
        Cambrian age, Papago Indian Reservation, Arizona: in- Geological Survey research 1964,
        USGS Prof. Paper 501-C, p. C43-C49.
    *Krieger, M.H., 1961, Troy quartzite (younger Precambrian) and Bolsa and Abrigo formations, northern Galiuro
        Mountains,  southeastern Arizona: USGS Prof. Paper 424-C, p.C-160.

Abrigo Formation (Upper Cambrian)
  limestone, cherty limestone to calcareous shale
  sometimes contains glauconite
  maximum. thickness- 235 m

 views of Abrigo Formation
  references
    *Ransome, F.L.,Abrigo Formation in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, page 30-
   
*Krieger, M.H., 1961, Troy quartzite (younger Precambrian) and Bolsa and Abrigo formations, northern Galiuro
          Mountains, southeastern Arizona: USGS Prof. Paper 424-C, p.C-160.
    *Wiese, J.H., 1940, Study of the Abrigo limestone, Arizona (abstr.): Geol. Soc. America Bull., v.51, p.1964.

Cambrian and Ordovician overview references
    *Dickinson, R.G., 1959, The Cambrian and Ordovician Systems of Southeastern Arizona: Ariz. Geol. Soc., Guidebook II
          Southern Ariz., p. 21-24.

    *Hayes, P.T., 1972, Stratigraphic nomenclature of Cambrian and Lower Ordovician rocks of easternmost southern Arizona
          and adjacent westernmost New Mexico: USGS Bull. 1372-B, p. B1-B21.
    *Hayes, P.T., 1975, Selected stratigraphic sections of Cambrian and Ordovician rocks in Arizona, New Mexico, and
          western Texas: USGS Open File Report 75-178, 51 p.
    *Hayes, P.T., and Cone, G.C., 1975, Cambrian and Ordovician rocks of southern Arizona and New Mexico and
          westernmost Texas: USGS Prof. Paper 873, 98 p.
    *Stratigraphic Section near Bisbee- from Southern Arizona Fossils

Martin Limestone (Middle and Upper Devonian)
  dark-gray limestones and pink calcareous shales
  weathers as a slope-former

  views of Martin Limestone
  fossils from the Martin Formation-from Southern Arizona Fossils

  maximum thickness- 95 m
  references-
    *Ransome, F.l.,Martin Limestone in Geology of the Bisbee Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 33-

    *Pye, W.D, 1959, Silurian and Devonian Stratigraphy, Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico:
         Southern Arizona Guidebook II, L.A Heindl, ed. Arizona Geological Society, p. 25-29.

    *Cox, L.J., 1996, Structure contour map on the Martin Formation (Devonian) in the Sierrita-Mogollon Corridor Study
          Area, Arizona-New Mexico: USGS Misc. Inv. Map I-2401-B (1:250,000).
    *Johnson, H.G., 1991, A new fish fauna from the upper Devonian Martin Formation, Mount Elden, northern Arizona: M.S.
          thesis, Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff.
    *Le Mone, D.V., 1959, The Devonian stratigraphy of Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona and Hidalgo County,
          New Mexico: M.S. thesis, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 108 p.
    *Langenheim, R.L., Jr., 1957, Critical Upper Devonian faunule from Cochise County, Arizona (abstr.): GSA Bull., v.68,
          no.12, p.1833.
    *Tabmazian, G.A., 1964, Petrography of the Troy and Martin clastic sequence at Roosevelt Dam, Gila County, Arizona:
          M.S. thesis, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 95 p.
    *Willden, C.R., 1960, Sedimentary iron-formation in the Devonian Martin formation Christmas quadrangle, Arizona: USGS
          Prof. Paper.
    *Williams, H.S., 1904, Note on the Devonian fossils (of the Bisbee quadrangle): USGS Prof. Paper 21, p.35-42.
    *Wright, J.J., 1964, Petrology of the Devonian rocks in eastern Pima and Cochise Counties, Arizona: Ph.D., Univ. of
          Arizona, Tucson, 151 p.

Escabrosa Limestone (Lower Mississippian)
 light-gray, thick-bedded, coarse-grained limestone with crinoid fragments
  weathers as a cliff-former
  maximum thickness- 213 m

  views of Escabrosa Limestone
  fossils  of the Escabrosa Limestone- from Southern Arizona Fossils

  references-
    *Escabrosa Limestone in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 42-    and page 48-
    *Thomas, G.C., 1959, The Mississippian System in Southern Arizona: Southern Arizona Guidebook II,
          L.A. Heindl, ed., Arizona Geological Society, p. 31-33.

    *Armstrong, A.K., 1962, Stratigraphy and paleontology of the Mississippian System in southwestern New Mexico and
          adjacent southeastern Arizona: New Mex. Bur. Mines and Min. Res., Memoir 8, 99 p.
    *Girty, G.H., 1904, Note on the Carboniferous fossils (of the Bisbee quadrangle, Arizona): USGS Prof. Paper 21, p.46-54.

Black Prince Limestone (Upper Mississippian/Lower Pennsylvanian)
  limestone with basal pebbly mudstone
  maximum thickness- 50 m

  references-
    *Nations, J.D., 1961, The Black Prince Limestone of southeastern Arizona: M.S. Thesis, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 52 p.
    *Nations, J.D., 1963, Evidence for a Morrowan age for the Black Prince Limestone of southeastern Arizona: Jour.
     Paleontology, v.37, n.6, p.1252-1264.

Pennsylvanian and Permian overviews
   *Havenor, K.C., 1959, The Pennsylvanian System of Southeastern Arizona: Southern Arizona Guidebook II,
        L.A. Heindl, ed., Arizona Geological Society, p. 34-37. 
  
   *Bryant, D. H., 1959, Marker Zones in Permian Formations of Southern Arizona: Southern Arizona Guidebook II,
        L.A. Heindl, ed., Arizona Geological Society, p. 38-42.

   *Gilluly, J., Cooper, J.R., and Williams, J.S., 1954, Late Paleozoic stratigraphy of central Cochise County, Arizona: USGS
        Prof. Paper 266, 49 p.
   *Stratigraphic Section in Whetstone Mountains- from Southern Arizona Fossils

Horquilla Limestone (Pennsylvanian)
  thin bedded, blue-gray limestones alternating with thin beds of red shale and shaly limestone
  weathered appearance from a distance, layers look like steps
  part of Naco Group
  maximum thickness- 300 m

  views of Horquilla Limestone
  fossils of the the Horquilla Formation- from Southern Arizona Fossils

  references-
    Naco Limestone in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 44-and page 52a-
    *Estes, W.S., 1968, Fusulinid fauna of the Horquilla limestone in the Gunnison Hills, Cochise County, Arizona: M.S.
          thesis, University of Arizona, 225 p.

Earp Formation (Pennsylvanian)
  thin shaly limestones, reddish shales, massive limestone and dolomite that weathers orange or reddish
  part of Naco Group
  maximum thickness- 300 m

  fossils of the Earp Formation- from Southern Arizona Fossils
  references-
    *Dubin, D.J., 1964, Fusulinid fauna from the type area of the Earp formation, Permo-Pennsylvanian, Cochise County,
          Arizona: M.S. Thesis, University of Arizona, 102 p.
    *Lodewick, R.E., 1970, The petrology and stratigraphy of the Earp Formation, Pima and Cochise Counties, Arizona:
          Ph.D., University of Arizona, 194 p.
    *Rea, D.K., 1967, Stratigraphy of the red chert pebble conglomerate in the Earp Formation, southeastern Arizona:
          M.S., University of Arizona, Tucson, 116 p.

    *Rea, D.K., and Bryant, D.L., 1968, Permian red chert-pebble conglomerate in the Earp Formation of southeastern
          Arizona: Amer. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, Bull. (?)

Colina Limestone (Permian)
  dense, black limestone with some major beds of shale and sandstone
  often contains small fossil snail shells
  part of Naco Group
  maximum thickness- 193 m

  views of the Colina Limestone
  references-
    *Wilt, J.C., 1969, Petrography and stratigraphy of the Colina limestone (Permian) in Cochise County, Arizona: M.S.
          thesis, University of Arizona.

Epitaph Dolomite (Permian)
  dolomite with knots of silica, limestone, red shale, thin sandy layers
  part of Naco group
  maximum thickness- 239 m

  references-
    *Patch, S., 1969, Petrology and stratigraphy of the Epitaph Dolomite (Permian) in Tombstone Hills, Cochise County,
          Arizona: M.S. thesis: Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 42 p.

Scherrer Formation (Permian)
  red siltstone, dolomitic limestone, massive sandstone
  maximum thickness- 200 m

  references-
    *Luepke, G., 1967, Petrology and stratigraphy of the Scherrer Formation (Permian) in Cochise County, Arizona: M.S.
          thesis, University of Arizona, 52 p.

Concha Formation (Permian)
  light gray cherty limestone with some sand layers at base
  part of Naco Group
  maximum thickness- 39 m

 fossils of the Concha Formation- from Southern Arizona Fossils
  references-
    *Bryant, D.L., and Mc Clymonds, N.E., 1961, Permian Concha Limestone and Rainvalley Formation, southeastern
          Arizona: Amer. Assoc. Petr. Geologists Bull., v.45, n.8, p.1324-1333.
    *Ervin, M.T., 1986, The origin of chert in the Concha Limestone (Permian) of southeastern Arizona: M.S. thesis, Univ. of
          Arizona, Tucson, 87 p.

Rainvalley Formation (Permian)
  limestones and dolomites, some sandstone
  part of Naco Group
  maximum thickness- 120 m

 fossils of the Rainvalley Formation- from Southern Arizona Fossils
  references-
    *Bryant, D.L., and Mc Clymonds, N.E., 1961, Permian Concha Limestone and Rainvalley Formation, southeastern
          Arizona: Amer. Assoc. Petr. Geologists Bull., v.45, n.8, p.1324-1333.

Mesozoic formations
    The Cretaceous formations in southeastern Arizona are often called the Bisbee Group.
  references-
    *Fergusson, W.B., 1959, The Cretaceous System of southeastern Arizona: Southern Arizona Guidebook II,
          L.A. Heindl, ed., Arizona Geological Society, p. 43-47.

    *Finnell, T.L., 1970, Formations of the Bisbee Group, Empire Mountains quadrangle, Pima County, Arizona: USGS Bull.
          1294-A, p. 28-35.
    *Hayes, P.T., 1970, Cretaceous paleogeography of southeastern Arizona and adjacent area: USGS Prof.
Paper 658-B, 42 p.

Glance Conglomerate (Lower Cretaceous)
  poorly bedded conglomerate with fragments of Naco Group limestones, sandstone, purple to green shaly sandstones
  maximum thickness- variable

  views of Glance Conglomerate
  references-
    Glance Conglomerate in the Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 57-
    *Bilodeau, W.L., 1978, The Glance Conglomerate, a lower Cretaceous syntectonic deposit in southeastern Arizona:
          in- Callender, J.F., Wilt, J.C., and Clemons, R.G., eds., Land of Cochise: New Mexico Geol. Soc. 29th Field
          Conference Guidebook, p. 209-214.
    *Bilodeau. W.L., 1978, The Glance Conglomerate: a mid-Mesozoic group of isolated alluvial fan complexes in
          southeastern Arizona (abstr): GSA Abstr. with Prog., v.10, p.96.
    *Vedder, L.K., 1984, Stratigraphic relationship between the late Jurassic Canelo-Hills volcanics and the Glance
          Conglomerate, Southeast Arizona: M.S., Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, 129 p.

Morita Formation (Lower Cretaceous)
  shales, sandstones, limestones, red shale

  maximum thickness- 440 m
  views of Morita Formation
  Morita Formation in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 63-


Mural Limestone (Lower Cretaceous)
  thin-bedded limestone, shale and sandstone, massive limestone, thin-bedded shale, sandstone, mudstone, limestone
  weathers as a cliff-former
  contains large fossil clam and coiled snail shells

  views of Mural Limestone
  maximum thickness- 200 m
  references-
    Mural Limestone in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 65-
    *Hayes, P.T., and Landis, E.R., 1961, Lower member of Mural Limestone of Early Cretaceous age, Bisbee quadrangle,
          Arizona: in: Short papers in the geologic and hydrologic sciences, Articles 1-146, USGS Prof. Paper 424-B, p. B125-B127.
    *Roybal, G.W., 1979, Facies relationships on a patch reef of the Mural Limestone in southeast Arizona: M.S. thesis,
          University of Arizona, 76 p.

Cintura Formation (Lower Cretaceous)
  quartzite, red shale and sandstone, nodular shale and flaggy cross bedded sandstone
  Petrified wood and mosasaur gastroliths have been found in deposits on the eastern side of Mule Mountains.
  maximum thickness- 427 m

   views of Cintura Formation
   Cintura Formation in Geology of the Bisbee, Arizona Quadrangle, F.L. Ransome, page 68-

Cenozoic formations
  references
  *Wood, P.A., 1959, Tertiary Deposits in Southern Arizona: Southern Arizona Guidebook II,
       L.A. Heindl, ed., Arizona Geological Society, p. 58-61.


Gila Conglomerate (Pliocene)
  conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, local limestone, tuffs, basalt flows, volcanic sediments
  maximum thickness- 800+ m


St. David Formation (Upper Pliocene to Pleistocene)
  silts and clays, fresh-water laid pyroclastics and paleosols
  maximum thickness- 180 m

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part B-references on generalized stratigraphy
overviews
PRECAMBRIAN
    *Silver, L.T., 1978, Precambrian formations and Precambrian history in Cochise County, southeastern Arizona: in:
          Callender, J.T., Wilt, J.C., and Clemons, R.E., Socorroo, New Mexico Geological Society,
          29th Field Conf. Guidebook, p.157-164.


PALEOZOIC
    *Gilluly, J., Cooper, J.R., and Williams, J.S., 1954, Late Paleozoic stratigraphy of Cochise County, Arizona: USGS Prof.
          Paper 266, 49p.
    *Keyes, C.R., 1942, Synonymy of Naco limestone of Bisbee, Arizona: Pan. Am. Geol., v.77, n.2, p.155-156,
    *Kottlowski, F.E., 1960, Summary of Pennsylvanian sections in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona:
          New Mexico Bur. Mines & Min. Res. Bull.66, 187 p.
    *Williams, F., 1941, Fusulinid fauna of the Naco limestone near Bisbee, Arizona: Univ. Illinois, Thesis.


MESOZOIC
    *Hayes, P.T., 1970, Mesozoic stratigraphy of the Mule and Huachuca Mountains, Arizona: USGS Prof. Paper 658-A, 28 p.
    *Konishi, K., 1962, Some early Cretaceous algae from Cochise County, Arizona: Micropaleo, v.8, n.1, p.67-77.
    *Stoyanow, A.A., 1949, Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy in southeastern Arizona: Geol. Soc. Amer. Mem. 38.


CENOZOIC
    *Gray, R.S., 1965, Late Cenozoic sediments in the San Pedro Valley near St. David, Arizona: Ph.D., University of Arizona, 198p.
    *Grimm, J.P., 1978, Cenozoic pisolitic limestones of Pima and Cochise Counties: M.S. thesis, University of Arizona, 60 p.
    *Heindl, L.A., 1962, Cenozoic geology of Arizona- A 1960 resume: Ariz. Geol. Soc. Digest, v. V, p.9-24.