GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 71-20
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


BAUGH, Christopher A. and PRICE, Jonathan D., Kimbell School of Geosciences, Midwestern State University, 3410 Taft Blvd., Wichita Falls, TX 76308,

The Dalquest Desert Research Station (DDRS) is located in the southeastern corner of the Bandera Mesa South 7.5’ Quadrangle. The mesa and canyon topography of the DDRS contains a view of the late Eocene-early Oligocene strata in the central Big Bend. The strata are transected by the Tascotal Mesa Fault (TMF), an E-W trending fault that links the region’s more dominant Basin and Range fault systems. The area has not been mapped at high resolution and lacks a modern integrated assessment. We conducted high-resolution geologic and structural mapping and section measurement.

The mapped section includes the Devils Graveyard Fm. (PEdg), the Terneros Creek Rhyolite (PEtc), a localized intrusive dome, the Solitario Conglomerate (PEsc), the Mitchell Mesa Rhyolite (PEmm), the Tascotal Fm. (PEt), and the Rawls Fm. (PEr). An alluvial pediment covers much of the canyon top, the canyon floors contain a dissected boulder conglomerate and minor alluvium. The PEdg unconformably overlies the Cretaceous, with lower PEdg (168.6 m of variegated muds and tuffs), middle PEdg (104 m of interbedded largely buff and red colored tuffs, muds, channel sands, and conglomerate), and the PEdg, Bandera Mesa member (88.4 m of buff-to-white muds, tuffs, sands, and breccias). This is conformably capped by an incomplete section of the PEmm (45 m of orange welded tuff with lesser brecciated material), faulted out against the PEt. This unit is marked by lacustrine limestone benches with interbedded breccia and muds (67.5 m, but thickness varies laterally). It is conformably overlain by the interbedded tuffs and basalt flows of PEr (incomplete section, 170 m to mesa top). The PEsc is confined to the southeastern portion of the map area, underlying the PEmm.

Near-vertical, oblique-slip faulting dominates the area. The southern wall of the TMF is down-dropped by as much as 300 m, where the PEt accommodates substantial strain through ductile deformation. A 320°-striking fault provides a smaller southwestern downdrop through the central mapped area. The area is marked by smaller imbrications from these faults and associated deformation.

This project confirms and integrates prior work on regional processes. The high-definition map also suggests that that the TMF produced subequal amounts of vertical and horizontal movement, which may constrain current work on this feature.