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Abstract

The Manzanita, the uppermost member of the Cherry Canyon Formation, is one of three carbonate units that extend from the toe of the Goat Seep Dolomite far out across the Delaware Basin. It is one of eight named carbonate units that serve to subdivide the 1000 m-thick siliciclastics of the Delaware Mountain Group. The Manzanita Member is unique among these Delaware Basin carbonates (Table 1). Instead of thickening into the toe-of-slope reef carbonates, the Manzanita appears to pinchout at the top of slope (King, 1948; Newell et al., 1953). The Manzanita has uniform thickness (approximately 15 to 20 m) far into the basin and contains no channels or coarse shelf debris; it is dolomitized much farther into the basin than the other tongues and has numerous evaporite molds. The continuity across the basin and paucity of coarse fossil grains also distinguish the Manzanita from most other tongues.

The Manzanita crops out in three major areas. Two of these, approximately perpendicular to depositional strike, are along the Western Escarpment of the Guadalupe Mountains and the top of a cuesta extending some 25 km into the Delaware Basin (see Fig. 1). More isolated outcrops occur in the third area, which extends about parallel to depositional strike for some 12 km eastward along the base of the Capitan Reef Escarpment from the southwestern tip of the Guadalupe Mountains. A representative section (Fig. 1) in this vicinity, 3 km east of the type section at Nipple Hill, is shown graphically on Figure 2.

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