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Open-File Report 2012-1041

Preliminary Geologic Map of the Big Costilla Peak Area, Taos County, New Mexico, and Costilla County, Colorado

By Christopher J. Fridrich,1 Ralph R. Shroba,1 and Adam M. Hudson2

Thumbnail of and link to report contentsAbstract

This map covers the Big Costilla Peak, New Mex.‒Colo. quadrangle and adjacent parts of three other 7.5 minute quadrangles: Amalia, New Mex.‒Colo., Latir Peak, New Mex., and Comanche Point, New Mex. The study area is in the southwesternmost part of that segment of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains known as the Culebra Range; the Taos Range segment lies to the southwest of Costilla Creek and its tributary, Comanche Creek. The map area extends over all but the northernmost part of the Big Costilla horst, a late Cenozoic uplift of Proterozoic (1.7-Ga and less than 1.4-Ga) rocks that is largely surrounded by down-faulted middle to late Cenozoic (about 40 Ma to about 1 Ma) rocks exposed at significantly lower elevations. This horst is bounded on the northwest side by the San Pedro horst and Culebra graben, on the northeast and east sides by the Devils Park graben, and on the southwest side by the (about 30 Ma to about 25 Ma) Latir volcanic field. The area of this volcanic field, at the north end of the Taos Range, has undergone significantly greater extension than the area to the north of Costilla Creek. The horsts and grabens discussed above are all peripheral structures on the eastern flank of the San Luis basin, which is the axial part of the (about 26 Ma to present) Rio Grande rift at the latitude of the map. The Raton Basin lies to the east of the Culebra segment of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This foreland basin formed during, and is related to, the original uplift of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains which was driven by tectonic contraction of the Laramide (about 70 Ma to about 40 Ma) orogeny. Renewed uplift and structural modification of these mountains has occurred during formation of the Rio Grande rift. Surficial deposits in the study area include alluvial, mass-movement, and glacial deposits of middle Pleistocene to Holocene age.

1U.S. Geological Survey
2Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont.

First posted March 13, 2012

For additional information contact:
USGS Geology and Environmental Change Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 980
Denver, CO 80225

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Suggested citation:

Fridrich, C.J., Shroba, R.R., and Hudson, A.M., 2012, Preliminary geologic map of the Big Costilla Peak area, Taos County, New Mexico, and Costilla County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1041, scale 1:24,000.

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