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Abstract

This paper summarizes a detailed investigation of the sedimentology and stratigraphic setting of the lower Seven Rivers Formation in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico (Hurley, 1978). Work is confined to superb exposures in North McKittrick Canyon of a lateral facies transition from bedded shelf carbonates and siliciclastic sediments to the massive facies of the lower Capitan Limestone. The major research questions addressed are:

1. What depositional processes and environments characterize the complex facies mosaic of the lower Seven Rivers Formation and the shelfward edge of the lower Capitan Limestone?

2. Did the shelf-to-basin profile in earliest Capitan time differ from later Capitan times (Yates and Tansill) where this transition has been more thoroughly studied?

3. What is the nature of the Seven Rivers to Capitan facies transition, and what does this transition imply as to growth rate of the early Capitan?

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