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Open-File Report 2014-1124

Prepared in cooperation with the Navajo Nation

Preliminary Bedrock and Surficial Geologic Map of the West Half of the Sanders 30’ x 60’ Quadrangle, Navajo and Apache Counties, Northern Arizona

By Lee Amoroso, Susan S. Priest, and Margaret Hiza-Redsteer

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (26.4 MB)Abstract

The bedrock and surficial geologic map of the west half of the Sanders 30' x 60' quadrangle was completed in a cooperative effort of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Navajo Nation to provide regional geologic information for management and planning officials. This report provides baseline geologic information that will be useful in future studies of groundwater and surface water resources, geologic hazards, and the distribution of soils and plants.

The west half of the Sanders quadrangle encompasses approximately 2,509 km2 (980 mi2) within Navajo and Apache Counties of northern Arizona and is bounded by lat 35°30' to 35° N., long 109°30' to 110° W. The majority of the land within the map area lies within the Navajo Nation. South of the Navajo Nation, private and State lands form a checkerboard pattern east and west of Petrified Forest National Park.

In the west half of the Sanders quadrangle, Mesozoic bedrock is nearly flat lying except near folds. A shallow Cenozoic erosional basin that developed about 20 Ma in the western part of the map area cut across late Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks that were subsequently filled with flat-lying Miocene and Pliocene mudstone and argillaceous sandstone and fluvial sediments of the Bidahochi Formation and associated volcanic rocks of the Hopi Buttes volcanic field. The Bidahochi rocks are capped by Pliocene(?) and Pleistocene fluvial sediments and Quaternary eolian and alluvial deposits. Erosion along northeast-southwest-oriented drainages have exposed elongated ridges of Bidahochi Formation and basin-fill deposits that are exposed through shallow eolian cover of similarly oriented longitudinal dunes. Stokes (1964) concluded that the accumulation of longitudinal sand bodies and the development of confined parallel drainages are simultaneous processes resulting in parallel sets of drainages and ridges oriented along the prevailing southwest wind direction on the southern Colorado Plateau.

First posted July 7, 2014

For additional information, contact:
GMEG staff, Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center—Flagstaff
U.S. Geological Survey
2255 N. Gemini Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-1600

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Suggested citation:

Amoroso, Lee, Priest, S.S., and Hiza-Redsteer, Margaret, 2014, Preliminary bedrock and surficial geologic map of the west half of the Sanders 30' x 60' quadrangle, Navajo and Apache Counties, northern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1124, scale 1:50,000, pamphlet 30 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)

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