LOW TEMPERATURE COOLING HISTORY AND "THERMOSTRUCTURAL ANALYSIS" OF THE LARAMIDE ZUNI ARCH, WEST-CENTRAL NEW MEXICO
We also present a “thermostructural analysis” based on samples collected in a transect across the southeastern Zuni arch, and reconstruct a stepwise deformation and tectonic history for the range. Thermochronologic data and modeling are markedly unique in each sample across the transect: the southwestern forelimb of the arch displays moderate to rapid cooling, while the range crest for the southeastern (and northwestern) Zuni arch displays rapid cooling; slow cooling characterizes the northeastern backlimb. These thermal characteristics are interpreted to represent initial southwest-directed thrusting all along the length of the arch via a northeast dipping master thrust, exhumationally driven erosion that buried the flanks of the arch during deformation (notably at the northeastern backlimb), later pulses of Laramide deformation, and post-orogenic cooling episodes that may reflect Colorado Plateau uplift and/or drainage reorganization. In all, our Zuni Mountains data exhibit (1) Laramide deformation at a timeframe similar to nearby Laramide features, (2) ≥4 km of structural and erosional exhumation during and since the Laramide orogeny, and (3) detailed clues into Zuni arch deformation and regional tectonics, which (4) highlights the importance of a structurally motivated sampling strategy.