Abstract

At Cerro Cobachi, 90 km east of Hermosillo, Sonora, an Ordovician to Permian miogeoclinal assemblage and an Ordovician to Permian siliceous deep-water assemblage were juxtaposed by thrust faulting between mid-Permian and latest Cretaceous time. Both assemblages resemble counterparts in the Great Basin. One formation, an ultramature quartzite unit in the miogeoclinal assemblage, closely resembles the Middle Ordovician Eureka Quartzite. In the southern Great Basin, isopach lines of the Eureka trend south-southwestward. From a maximum thickness of 134 m near Owens Lake, California, the Eureka thins and splays northward in the southern Inyo Mountains and thins southeastward in the Nopah Range. But south-southwestward, parallel with the isopach lines, it apparently ends abruptly as if faulted. Because the Paleozoic stratigraphy of the western Great Basin and that of west Texas have elements in common, it is quite possible that the southwest-trending facies belts of the Great Basin originally wrapped around the southern border of the continent through northern Mexico and joined corresponding belts in Texas. Two hypotheses are suggested: (1) the Cerro Cobachi terrane, of which the quartzite is a part, is indigenous to northern Mexico, and (2) the Cerro Cobachi terrane is indigenous to California and was displaced tectonically to northern Mexico. The second hypothesis is favored by the apparently abrupt termination of the Eureka Quartzite near Owens Lake, the nearly identical thickness of the two quartzites, and their nearly identical lithic composition and texture.

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