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A paleontologic inventory contracted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported an interesting "fossil forest" in the region of Split Lip Flats, south of Farmington, New Mexico. The potential for coal development has led to a joint geologic investigation by the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources and the BLM.
Numerous measured sections were made in the fossil forest study area. The exposed sequences consist of interbedded shales, siltstones, channel sandstones, carbonaceous shales, and coal; coal crops out only at the base of the sections. Virtually all the beds are laterally discontinuous except over short distances. The coal and carbonaceous shales have greater lateral extent; two continuous but slightly undulatory carbonaceous shales were identified and used as stratigraphic marker beds. Approximately 26 m of sediments is exposed, most of which are in the Fruitland Formation. In some sections, the uppermost 5 m is probably part of the lower shale member of the Kirtland Formation. Correlations of these sequences with those near Hunter Wash, 10 mi (16 km) west-northwest, is attempted.
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