Tombstone Hills - Geology

Cochise College                                                                       
Geology of Southeastern Arizona
Geology Home Page

Roger Weller, geology instructor    last edited:  10/13/16

tipped sedimentary rock layers south of Tombstone, Arizona


Tombstone Hills Cochise County, Arizona


general geology

The rocks involved in the structure of the Tombstone district range from Precambrian to Quaternary in age.  The oldest rock is fine-grained, greenish-gray schist, correlated with the Pinal Schist of Bisbee.  The Paleozoic rocks include the Bolsa Quartzite, Abrigo Limestone, Martin Limestone, Escabrosa Limestone, and the Naco Limestone.  The Bisbee Group, Mesozoic in age, overlies the Naco Formation.  After deposition of these rocks, the area was folded and faulted, and, probably at the same time, invaded by intrusions of igneous rock. 

The Tombstone District was discovered in 1877.  The district is mostly known for its precious metals.  Of the production by value from 1879 to 1933, silver amounted to about 81% and gold about 14% of the total.  The remaining 5% was mainly lead with some copper, manganese, and zinc. 

Between 1881 and 1882 the area yielded more than $5,000,000 worth of ore.  The value of the metals produced to end of 1936 is estimated at $37,000,000.


Maps of the Tombstone Hills 


Views of Tombstone and the Tombstone Hills 

Published references on the geology of Tombstone and the Tombstone Hills

Fossils from the Tombstone area

student presentations on the Tombstone area
Tombstone, Arizona Geology-Kathleen Pennington (Fall 2006)