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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 771

Last Page: 771

Title: Structure of Thrust Belt in Southwestern New Mexico: Implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Lee A. Woodward

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Laramide thrust belt trends west-northwesterly through the southwestern corner of New Mexico and is characterized mainly by flat-lying thrusts and subordinate closely compressed overturned folds. Cenozoic volcanics and sediments cover much of the region and only scattered areas of preorogenic rocks are exposed. Deformed Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and lower Cenozoic strata are exposed in fault-block ranges separated by extensive basins filled with upper Cenozoic clastic debris.

Yielding on the thrust is northward and displacement ranges up to several miles. The regional distribution of thrusts indicates that the entire foldbelt in this region is underlain by thrusts even though considerable parts of the preorogenic sedimentary section may have escaped deformation locally.

Laramide thrusts and Cenozoic volcanism and block faulting make this area extremely difficult for hydrocarbon exploration; techniques used successfully in the Utah-Wyoming thrust belt appear to have little chance for success in New Mexico.

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