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The southeastern margin of the Colorado Plateau (CP) lies in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. It is defined as the boundary between the CP, the Rio Grande rift, and the Basin and Range (BRP) provinces. Along its western and southern margins, the CP is physically distinguishable from the BRP by major escarpments. Because of a thick cover of volcanic material associated with the Mogollon-Datil volcanic field (MDVF), no such demarcation exists in the study area. To accurately determine lithospheric structure in this area, two seismic refraction lines that intersect within the MDVF were studied. In addition, gravity data along these lines were simultaneously analyzed. Based on these data, velocity and density profiles were created via an iterative forward modeling processes. Major crustal boundaries for each paired gravity/refraction profile were constrained to agree at the point of intersection and with other geological and geophysical control. Structurally, the CP margin appears as an abrupt northward deepening of the Moho just south of Datil, New Mexico. This lies beneath a major low density-low velocity upper crustal body, interpreted to be a plutonic complex approximately 230 by 150 by 6 km. It is very likely that this complex provided the source material for the MDVF. Stoping appears to be the vehicle for emplacement of this body, implying a major crustal reorganization in middle Tertiary time.

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