ABSTRACT

Thick sequences of Lower Jurassic rhyolitic and andesitic volcanic rocks in several mountain ranges of southern Arizona contain interbedded quartzarenites. Locally up to 250 m thick, these sandstone lenses, composed of well-sorted and well-rounded quartz grains, commonly contain large-scale cross-stratification and are considered to be eolian sand deposits. The eolian sands were blown up against the continental side of the Early Jurassic volcanic arc that trended northwest-southeast across the southwestern margin of the North American continent and/or plate at that time. Paleocurrent data suggest southerly eolian transport of the sands from the Colorado Plateau area. Correlation of these sandstones with the Lower Jurassic Navajo and Aztec Sandstones is indicated by the paleocurrent data as well as radiometric dating of the interbedded volcanics. Eolian sand transport southward across central Arizona in the Early Jurassic indicates that the Mogollon highlands either did not then exist, or were merely low, discontinuous inselbergs on a broad back-arc ramp, more appropriately called the Mogollon slope.

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